Gin & Juice at Jay's!
On a balmy July evening in London, I had the pleasure of attending the residence of the charismatic Jay Gatsby for a night of decadent partying. I was looking forward to having the ability to immerse myself in all that theatre has to offer. Upon entering the secret location I was handed a Copperhead Gin in the 1920's Speakeasy, women in Flappers dresses and men in bow ties and waistcoats greeted me ready for a night's entertainment. Calls of "c'mon in guys, can I get you a drink, hey, good to see you" were welcoming and all inclusive.
To start us off, Daniel Dingsdale in the role of Tom Caraway takes us on a journey that is,
to put it bluntly, quite the ride. He had perhaps the hardest job of all - take a group of 50 or
so strangers and enthral them from the get-go. Enthral he did, capturing the attention and
keeping it during a lengthy dialogue is no easy feat.
Oliver Tinley plays the delectable Jay Gatsby with a suave and sophisticated manner, very
closely followed by Holly Beasley-Garrigan who was faultless in her enunciation, attention
to detail and ad-libbing. The cast is tightly knit and slipped into their roles with ease. There
is something special about this production, the atmosphere is heightened with the 'what
happens next' questions. It is long a piece and I was on my feet for the entirety. And by on
my feet, I mean that I had a quick lesson in the Charleston. I got to assist Mrs Daisy
Buchanan. I got to sing. I would hate to divulge further as this will take away from the
excitement of The Great Gatsby.
This is engaging theatre at its very best - the area is utilised usefully, it is a big space, however, the décor would lead you to believe that you are wandering around a country
house. One room could house a poker game, another could perhaps house a couple caught
in a passionate embrace. There was always something going on. Join in if you want or just
sit back, grab a Mint Julip and watch. There is a lot going on at any one time; there is much
to take part in but also if you verge on the side of shyness, to watch the performance,
exhilaration and fun unfold is a treat in itself. A lot of effort has gone into pulling this together.
It isn’t too big a cast and the production is cohesive.
I would suggest dressing up - it is rare that one gets to do this in the theatre and it adds to
the atmosphere - the drinks and dancing are aplenty down at Jay's - do get yourself involved!
The Great Gatsby has now extended until the end of 2017 so get booking now and brighten up those dark nights with a bit of retro glamour!
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