The Lost Gatsby


 This young production by 8pB set on the film set of a production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece in 1926 is more than ably handled by its cast who approach their material with a maturity beyond their years.

 Set in the year after Fitzgerald’s book was released when a silent film of the work had recently been commissioned this play focuses on the internal drams and conflicts which affected the production and in some way may have resulted in it never being released. Though the apparent reason for its non-appearance was that Fitzgerald was unhappy at how Daisy was portrayed and as she contained so many elements of his wife Zelda this only compounded his dissatisfaction. It is intercut with familiar moments from the novel being acted out accompanied only by the whirring of a camera alongside the tinkling strains of a piano in what would have been the film’s soundtrack if it had ever made it into the theatres.

Tensions between the female members of the cast are overshadowed by some sexual shenanigans by the film’s leading man trying to put the make on the actor, who in his first film role is something of an innocent and in awe at meeting his idol, playing the part of Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan. A more fickle public who were becoming less content at shelling out for style over substance and actor’s names over acting ability as well as the arrival of the ‘talkies’ were also contributory factors into why the film never made it to release.

 This is an extremely competent production even if it is rather short-forty minutes at the most- but the actors fill every second of their time onstage with relevant material and performances. It is a good place to start if you are looking to see young talent in its earlier stages.


The Lost Gatsby is on at Space Surgeons Hall until August 17th

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