The Great Gatsby is as famous a story as it gets. The classic novel from F Scott Fitzgerald has seen various adaptations since it was first published nearly 100 years ago, including a play, a movie and even an immersive experience. Now it's time for things to get musical!
Gatsby: A Musical tells the story of Daisy Buchanan revisiting the mansion of Jay Gatsby years after leaving that world behind. Filmed at the gorgeous Cadogan Hall in London, this semi-staged version takes the form of a concert with the cast performing in front of music stands with full social distancing in place.
Taking you right back into the roaring 1920s (as opposed to the boring 2020s), the cast wear beautiful costumes that lend itself well to the beautiful setting they find themselves in.
What makes this concert production really stand out is its incredible cast. Recruiting some of the finest talents the West End has to offer, they leave their heart on the stage, immersing themselves into the iconic characters that have been so often portrayed over the last century and giving a much needed sense of believability.
Ross William Wild gives a brilliant turn as the titular Gatsby, with the always reliable Blake Patrick Anderson as sensational as ever as Nick Carroway. There is no weak link in the cast with Liam Doyle, Emma Williams and Chanice Alexander-Burnett among the other fantastic talents doing what they do best on stage. A great cast altogether but the powerhouse performer that is Jodie Steele needs to be singled out for her mesmerising performance as Daisy Buchanan. A complete star, she shines in any role she's given, proving her versatility, range and talent time and time again. Whenever she is on stage, magic is being made.
Another strength in this production are the truly beautiful songs. A mixture of numbers that are faithful to the era Gatsby is set and some that are more classic musical theatre numbers, there are some real standouts to be had here. Highlights include earworm dance number 'The Gatsby', the beautiful 'Broken Wings' and a gorgeous duet from Jodie Steele and Liam Doyle. With some powerhouse vocals at the ready, these numbers ensure you remain invested throughout the piece.
With direction from Linnie Reedman, this is awonderful take on a bonafide classic. Though there are a couple of issues regarding camerawork, choppy transitions and lighting choices, these can be forgiven as the fantastic performances taking place in front of you take all of your attention.
Overall this is a great addition to an already rich legacy on what is an iconic story. Though by all means not perfect, this is a fairly new musical and can be seen as a work in progress. There are far more strengths to be mentioned than the couple of imperfections on show, which leaves this show with a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing what Reedman does next with this show as she is definitely on to a winner here.
Gatsby: A Musical is streaming from Thursday 11th until Sunday 14th March. Tickets from https://www.webgig.tv/