Reviewed by Richard Lane
Scott Fitzgerald’s finest work, The Great Gatsby, on school curriculums the world over, chronicles the fate of people who choose to pursue the unworthy illusion of the American Dream.
This production is a world premiere of Rob Croser’s adaptation of Fitgerald’s novel, which was also directed by Mr Croser. The only negative comment concerns the final scene between Nick Carraway(Will Cox) and Jay Gatsby (Lindsay Prodea), which this critic considers could be pruned a little in the light of the foregoing action.
The open, multi –purpose Art Deco set in the courtyard of Jay Gatsby’s mansion, graceful and charming, worked astonishingly well whilst the numerous changes were performed with accuracy, speed and skill by cast members.
The selection of music blending the Jazz Age, dancing and song throughout was first class and Jazz Singer Ben Francis was a hit.
The performance of the night goes unerringly to Will Cox who played the ubiquitous Nick Carraway through whose eyes we saw the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby’s false dream. Whilst Nick was an integral part of the hedonistic people at the parties across the Bay at East Egg, he was also their sternest critic, much as Fitzgerald was in real life. Rarely off stage, Mr Cox gave a superb performance.
As Gatsby, Lindsay Prodea provided enough mystery right to the end of his futile dream and although Laura Antoniazzi looked marvellous as the cheating golf champion Jordan Baker, her diction was not always clear. Madeleine Herd was wonderful as Gatsby’s obsession Daisy and as her husband Tom Buchanan, Alexander Woolatt was suitably aggressive and detestable.
The other many roles were played, for the most part convincingly, by the Company and these included Lyn Wilson, Nick Fagan and David Roach.
A stellar production by Independent Theatre.