Previewed 8 June 2012, Opened 13 June 2012, Closed 15 July 2012 at the Noel Coward Theatre
A word-for-word dramatization of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in London as part of LIFT, the London International Festival of Theatre.
Set in the office of a mysterious business, Gatz tells the story of a worker who finds a copy of The Great Gatsby, starts to read it and doesn't stop. Created and performed by Elevator Repair Service and directed by John Collins, the cast features Scott Shepherd as 'Nick' with Jim Fletcher as 'Gatsby' and Lucy Taylor as 'Daisy'. Following world-wide acclaim and a return season at the New York's Public Theatre, this sensational word-for-word enactment of The Great Gatsby comes to London's West End for a strictly limited season of just 23 performances. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre where the subject of a recent West End musical called Beautiful and Damned (Lyric Theatre 2004).
Please note the start time! Starts at 2.30pm - Act 1: 2 hours and 5 minutes - 15 minute interval - Act 2: 1 hour and 15 minutes - 1 hour and 15 minute interval - Act 3: 1 hour and 25 minutes - 15 minute interval - Act 4: 1 hour and 30 minutes - finishing at approximately 10.30pm.
"The book does open with a warning about the need to observe rather than judge, and after a very slow start, the chronicle of the party-giving pharaoh of West Egg Island does catch fire. Like another famous egg, parts of it are excellent. Its kingpin is Scott Shepherd who, in a remarkable turn of memory and stamina, plays a bored office worker who, between desultory clicks of his space bar picks up the book and identifies ever more deeply with the narrator... Gatsby himself, Jim Fletcher, is equally impressive: facially as unreadable as an Easter Island statue, deep-voiced, fraudulently portentous, finally vulnerable." The Times
"In a grotty city office, a balding man gives up trying to make his ancient computer flicker into life. Bored, he opens a book he finds on his desk and starts to read... Presumably, the point of a drab office setting is that it is a world away from the glamour of Jay Gatsby's lavish life on Long Island in the roaring Twenties. Similarly, ordinary, drab office workers are nothing like the decadent young things partying at Gatsby's mansion. The Great Gatsby is concerned with the impossible pursuit of the American Dream and, in this ugly, mundane place, one understands all too well the need for dreams. Initially, Gatz is hard-going, partly because you don't know what the production is trying to do... But as time goes on, the production and the exquisite writing begin to work their spell. Shut your eyes and you hear a rather flat reading of the book. Open them and you see a man become gradually swept up and ultimately lost in the imaginative world of the novel, and the same thing happens to you. The final hour is by far the most powerful. Scott Shepherd puts down the novel but continues the narration. So strongly has he identified with the novel's narrator, Nick Carraway, that he has become him. Gatz chronicles the miraculous alchemy that is reading and the transformative power of the prose. While it's far from perfect and irritatingly inconsistent, that is a remarkable achievement." The Mail on Sunday
"Eight hours in the theatre isn't many people's cup of tea, particularly when the show can be summed up as Someone Reading Aloud Every Word Of The Great Gatsby. But the length is the point of what at first appears a perverse piece of anti-theatre from the US's Elevator Repair Service, which begins with Scott Shepherd's narrator picking up a discarded paperback in his office and starting to read. His voice is monotone, his face fixed firmly on the book. Just as F Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age classic centres on the myth of the enigmatic Gatsby, so Gatz initially sends up the myth of the novel, casting its glittering characters as a set of drab office workers who at first appear almost parodic versions of the fabulous Daisy and Gatsby, and conjuring the shimmering Long Island setting from the insistently mundane milieu of a downtown office. Stick with it and Shepherd's narration blossoms into an intoxicating full-bodied recreation... Director John Collins has some fun pre-empting the narrative with the odd visual gag. Yet the basic absence of theatrical embellishment only accentuates the imaginative reach of Fitzgerald's incandescent prose, its delicate evocations of a national identity based on deluded dreams of self-invention and of a doomed generation in thrall to money." The London Metro
Gatz in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 8 June 2012, opened on 13 June 2012 and closed on 15 July 2012.