Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:29 PM
Posted 08 June 2012 - 02:51 PM
Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:10 AM
As I say, I'm still taking it all in and will write more when I get the chance but I implore anyone dithering about whether to go or not to book!
Posted 10 June 2012 - 03:18 PM
Having said that, if it sounds like it might be your sort of thing, then you will almost certainly love it. By using the book rather than an adaptation you lose none of the amazing prose and still get all the action. The is very funny and anarchic in parts and yet loses none of the novel's melancholy tone at the end. And while it is obviously extemely reverential to the source, they aren't afraid of making fun of a couple of F. Scott Fitzgerald's odder sentences. Scott Shepherd gives a brilliant central performance as Nick, (as do the rest of the cast) and the show is filled with some really wonderful moments. There are a few bits where the energy drops slightly (due to the book rather than the show, I feel) but then it does something to surprise you all over again and you fall back in love with it.
Special mention has to go to the final chapter which, as written, is filled far more with musings than plot, but as told by the company, and Scott Shepherd in particular, becomes very moving - I definitely found it easier to engage here than reading it. The audience rose to it's feet at the end and there were many moments of complete silence thoughout the afternoon/evening - not bad for a full theatre and the longest show I've ever seen. So while it's not going to be for everyone, and shouldn't be undertaken lightly, if you do think it sounds fun, you should abolutlely take the plunge. I think it speaks volumes that I keep imagining other short classic novels they could do.
Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:29 PM
Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:57 AM
I love the novel, but having it read out for 8 hours simply did not translate into a satisfying theatrical experience. In fact, I'd go as far as to say 3/4 of the show was dull, and that is because a lot of the time it is just Scott Shepherd reading from the book, with very little else happening on stage. And I can't say I thought his performance was brilliant - he read most of it with minimal energy, so much so that it became a monotonous drone at points.
It seems odd to call an 8 hour production lazy, but I really think this is. Aside from the useful advertising gimmick of reading the entire novel, a proper adaptation could have been so much more thrilling. For instance, the scene in the hotel room, the 'I never loved you scene', was deprived of real tension or emotion by the constant injections of 'he said', 'she said'. It simply isn't interesting to watch someone walk through a door and then say 'I walked through a door'. But apart from the lazy translation to stage, I found the staging itself lazy. As I mentioned, for much of it Scott Shepherd is alone on stage reading, and the only really imaginatively, excitingly staged scenes are Myrtle's party and the reunion between Daisy and Gatsby. The rest, whilst with some nice moments, very unfocused and ultimately dull.
The audience leapt to its feet at the end... though that included the numerous people in front of me who had been asleep for much of the fourth act. I leapt to my feet too in fact, because my legs needed a stretch! As much as I love theatre, 8 hours of it proved quite testing, especially when it is as static as this was.
Can't say I'd recommend it. Especially for £70. Most of it wasn't theatre, it was audiobook.
Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:31 PM
Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:41 PM
Well that's just rude isn't it.
Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:49 PM
That said, I don't agree with your take on it, RH1234. I saw it on Friday and rate it as being the greatest theatrical experience I've ever had. And I've had a LOT. I didn't think the energy was minimal, nor was it by any means a lazy production. The evocation of all the locations and events, with minimal props and without ever leaving the office setting, was for me bravura stuff. Shepherd was astounding, particularly in the last 45 minutes, when he was "off book" and performing other characters besides Nick. I was never less than enthralled by it and have been urging all my friends to see it ever since. Will be interested to read the reviews tomorrow.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users