The Great Gatsby’s brilliant Assistant Director, Marc Atkinson, has kindly offered to give you all a little flavor of the work that goes into breathing life into F.Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved text. Over the coming weeks, Marc will be publishing dispatches from inside the rehearsal room via this Production Blog.
Check back every week to keep abreast of all the goings on inside the Gate!
Summer hit Dublin right as the company of The Great Gatsby get stuck into discovering their new 1920s home at The Gate. Between learning how to Charleston, speak ‘Long Island’, and finding secret performance spaces, we’re starting to work out how The Gate can become one of Jay Gatsby’s gold-glittering parties.
We’ve come a long way war from the abandoned warehouses and tunnels of Brooklyn and London, where immersive theatre is everywhere. Building this production at an institution like The Gate is thrilling. The whole building will be open for this show, and we’ve been discovering rooms and spaces that Gate audiences will have never had the chance to see. Figuring out how to create an experience that retains the character of The Gate while immersing us in the hedonism of Jazz-age New York is a challenge being relished by cast and designers alike. The first images and models are exquisite (but, shh, I can’t show you those yet…)
From the first, we knew this was going to be a different kind of production. Presented with a script more like a guidebook than a play, it quickly became clear that we would be making tonnes of material. To create a two hour piece of theatre, we would be really producing over 8 hours of content, allowing different audience members to follow radically different paths through the evening. So that when everyone meets up in the bar after, they can swap stories and compare their unique experiences.
So, as we move into our second week of rehearsal, the company have begun to immerse themselves in the world of this very special production. The next challenge, of course, is the same as with any play: making gripping scenes, complex characters and resonant images. Gatsby’s bittersweet, mysterious world of decadence has much to say these days – we can’t wait to share it with you.