The Great Gatsby (11th August 2010)

Jono’s taking me to see the play The Great Gatsby at Circa Theatre tonight – yay! I love plays :) Went to his office around 5.30pm to have leftovers for dinner together. Mum and I have been ‘passing the parcel’ these days, swapping food we’ve made extra for ourselves with each other, and tonight’s dinner was her stir-fry noodles which we heated up and ate at the communal kitchen at Jono’s office. “Hmm, I’m still hungry…” said Jono. The meal wasn’t enough for two so we made a quick stop at Enigma on Courtenay Place for coffee and cake before walking over to Circa Theatre for the 6.30pm show.

The play was an adaptation of the novel, The Great Gatsby, written by American writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald about the chronicles of life in American society post-World War I. Cost us $38 each and the queue was all the way from the ticketing counter to the front door when we arrived, 15 minutes before the show started. Luckily, we had already booked out tickets in advance! I was quite surprised to find such a crowd for a mid-week show, mostly elderly folk with a few dressed up in the 1920s era to suit the theme.

The show was 2 hours long with a 15-minute interval and started off with jazz music played on the grand piano on stage, accompanied by the sultry voice of one of the female actors singing and Ray Henwood narrating throughout the play (he was playing the role of older Nick Carraway, retelling stories from his past). Younger Nick (played by Guy Langford) comes from an aristocratic family and was finding his ways in business and life after returning from serving in the war. He found himself settling in Long Island, New York, renting a bungalow next to a mansion of the wealthy yet mysterious Jay Gatsby (played by Nathan Meister), a man known for throwing lavish parties for the hundreds in his residence. Nick also stumbles into the life of his second cousin, Daisy (played by Miranda Manasiadis), a wealthy, pampered yet troubled woman, married to Tom (played by Paul Harrop, whom we had seen in The Nero Show), who Nick soon learns from Daisy’s friend, a well-known female golfer, Jordon (played by Erin Banks, previously seen in The Clean House), that Tom has a mistress named Myrtle (played by Jessica Robinson) in New York City. Gatsby turned out to have once fallen in love with Daisy and still hoping she would return to him. He befriended Nick and had him arrange for Daisy and Gatsby to meet at Nick’s house, and subsequently rekindled their love and the affair began. Oh, but Tom, having first-hand experience in extra-marital affairs comforts them, informing Gatsby that Daisy no longer loves him and this was the end of their little affair. In another household, Wilson (played by Danny Mulheron), Mrytle’s husband, also suspects his wife having an affair and in an argument, Mrytle runs outside to the road as Daisy and Gatsby in their depressed state approached in their vehicle, hit and killed Mrytle instantly. A complicated story of love affairs and hatred where no one wins, ending with heartache and death.

I love Ray Henwood’s voice, so deep and soothing, and I’m really impressed how the old man can remember that many lines! Danny Mulheron entertained us on the piano, flitting between the role of the pianist, Wilson and several other characters speaking in different accents. He was amazing! All 8 actors played their multiples roles brilliantly, with singing and jazz dancing in between acts that tickled our hearts, and very clever use of props too! The show season runs from 31st July – 28th August so there’s still 2 weeks left to check it out (and for you to find out the full story of the play). I highly recommend it!

Thanks Jono for taking me to the play xoxo :)

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