Gatsby – The Union Theatre

Gatsby – The Union Theatre

I’ve been looking forward to this production for weeks now, so did it live up to my high expectations? Regular readers of my reviews know that my site is all about positivity and trying to drive the negativity away. The evening started well with a small selection of the cast moving amongst us whilst we sat in the bar full of anticipation waiting for the house to be opened. The beautiful costumes and frivolity of the cast infectiously encouraging us to enjoy and join their glamorous, roaring twenties party.

Photo Credit Roy Tan

Photo Credit Roy Tan

When we got into the performance space there was a chandelier hanging from the ceiling and tables and chairs with the normal theatre seating down each side. The actors are still making you feel like you’ve joined a lavish party and so far it is everything I’d hoped the show would be and more. However sadly this promising start gave way to an overwhelming feeling of disappointment.

Photo Credit Roy Tan

Photo Credit Roy Tan

The cast whilst enthusiastic could have  benefited from either properly being miked or given direction on projection. As although it’s a nice idea and I enjoyed seeing them play their instruments, musician actors can sometime detract or potentially drown out already hard to hear vocals. Which brings me onto the fact that this is a musical, when I was sat there I must say it didn’t feel like a musical. There were long amounts of dialogue, punctuated with musical numbers. It just felt like at times the music was an inconvenience when it should have been embraced.

Photo Credit Roy Tan

Photo Credit Roy Tan

There were some notable performances such as Kate Marlais as sportswoman Jordan Baker, sweet Joanna Brown (Daisy Buchanan) smouldering Zed Josef (Tom Buchanan) and dashing Nicholas Fagerberg as Jay Gatsby. The other person who did project and also gave a good performance was Ferne McCann who made her theatrical debut as tormented Myrtle.

Unfortunately this show seems to be very confused as to whether it’s a play or a musical. Some of the choreography seemed rather sloppy and surplus to requirement. There were some glimpses of what could’ve been a great production but at present it doesn’t feel like it’s quite ready to be seen.

So returning to my first paragraph and looking for the positives, the costumes are delightful, the casts enthusiasm isn’t in question, ambience and atmosphere is created well, there were some good performances. It just needs some titivation and shaping and there’s a great production in there, it’s just hiding at the moment.

Gatsby – The Union Theatre

★★

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s