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Gatz at the Noel Coward Theatre

Wednesday, 8th Feb 2012

An Enactment of the The Great Gatsby Novel, Rather than a Straight Adaptation, in the West End

The Noel Coward Theatre is set to be the home of a unique production this summer in the form of “Gatz”, which will be a new way of experiencing the famous novel “The Great Gatsby”. The production is set to run from June to July with an eight-hour duration (from 2.30pm to 10.30pm, including breaks) and audiences will experience the novel word-for-word, meaning that this is no regular adaptation and will be a particularly unique way of exploring its world.

The production has been put together by the Elevator Repair Service, with John Collins directing and Scott Shepherd leading the cast. It has already been seen on the other side of the Atlantic, where audiences at the Public Theatre, New York reacted with enthusiasm and attached a great deal of praise to Shepherd himself. Now it heads to a London theatre as part of the London International Festival of Theatre.

Shepherd has appeared in numerous shows on the other side of the Atlantic as part of the Wooster Group, with credits ranging from “Hamlet” to “The Emperor Jones”.

Meanwhile, director John Collins is both an award-winner and a nominee whose previous credits include “The Sound and the Fury”, which appeared in New York, and a production of Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”, which appeared in Edinburgh.

Though the novel takes place during the First World War, we experience the story through office workers, who are in the middle of their unsavoury dealings in business. But within this setting, these Low-rent workers bring to life the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece of American literature. Shepherd portrays the narrator onstage, meaning that he takes on the characterisation of Nick Carraway, the man at the centre of the classic tale.

The Noel Coward Theatre will first be the home of “Hay Fever”, which was written by the venue’s namesake and stars Lindsay Duncan and others in a story of a former stage star thrust into a difficult situation when she takes her suitor to the countryside, unaware that her family awaits her. It runs at the venue from Thursday 23rd February 2012 (previews from Friday 10th February 2012) to Saturday 2nd June 2012.

Meanwhile, “Gatz” will follow from Friday 8th June 2012 to Sunday 15th July 2012.

Article filed under: Theatre News |