So it seems Great Gatsby adaptations are a bit like buses. We can’t remember the last one staged in London, then suddenly, this summer, we have three come along at once.
And that’s before we even get to Baz Lurhmann’s 3D film version, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and the lovely Carey Mulligan, opening later in the year.
Whether it’s the 90th anniversary hook (the book is set in 1922), our continued fascination with 1920s prohibition in America or the refusal of flapper girls to go out of fashion, this classic American novel continues to fascinate. Perhaps in 2012, we’re most interested in the collapse of a society, destroyed by money, where happiness degenerates in the relentless pursuit of wealth. Whatever the reason, fans of the F Scott Fitzgerald novel can take their pick from the following adaptations of Tom, Daisy, Nick and Myrtle’s story coming to London this summer:
Opening tomorrow at Wilton’s Music Hall is The Great Gatsby, running until 19 May. If you’re in the audience, you’re encouraged to dress in your 20s best as Wilton’s is transformed into a speakeasy, filled with evocative jazz, late night fotxtrots, moonshine in teapots and the Tour De Force Theatre company…
Next up, we have Gatz, part of the London International Festival of Theatre 2012 (LIFT), performed by Elevator Repair Service, a New York-based theatre company. Set in a run-down office, one morning one of the workers (Nick), finds a copy of the book in the clutter on his desk and starts to read out loud… In a series of strange coincidences, each of his co-workers in turn become involved in the book. Thirteen actors bring to life every word of F Scott Fitzgerald’s book in an epic show that lasts 8 hours, including various intervals. Gatz will start at 2.30pm and finish at 10.30ish, with 23 performances between 8 June and 15 July.
Finally, there’s The Great Gatsby Musical, taking place at the King’s Head Theatre from 7 August to 1 September. This all-singing, all-dancing version of the story is adapted by Joe Evans and Linnie Reedman, and has original music and lyrics by Joe Evans. We’re hoping for some Charleston, 20s tango, and ragtime-inspired tunes.
“It takes two to make an accident,” says Jordan, in the book. Let’s hope, in this case, taking to up to three creates a hit.