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The Great Gatsby - Immersive London Review

Stepping off the London street and right into the immersive world of the roaring 1920s as we are invited to guests at the latest of Jay Gatsby's parties.

The world-building begins as soon as you step through the doors as surrounded by guests donned out in full period attire. The mingling begins as the liquor flows from a bar at one end of the room. The characters flow around the space talking to everyone and for the whole performance, you simply are a part of it.

Jessica Hern as Jordan Baker. Photo by Mark Senior

Once the show begins it's initially a bit chaotic to keep up with the action as voices through the crowd begin but it all settles down and it's undeniably gripping and entertaining. The interactivity sees you deciding your own way to discover the story as often there is groups being pulled away into side rooms to discover subplots of characters. 

The plot follows a wonderful collection of colourful characters at the heart is Jay Gatsby himself, the party thrower whose own relationship with married Daisy Buchanan becomes the central focus as deceit and betrayal happen right in the room. The second act becomes powerful intense as you are right there watching things unravel and director Alexander Wright has a masterful grasp of the text especially as he pairs the action with a quiet intimate song. 

Casey Jay Andrew's immaculate design from the large party room to the detailed side breathes further life into the performance. The noise flowing between the rooms means you never feel too separated from any of the action. The props in which guests, including yours truly, are pulled out to help to hilarious effect fit perfectly to the setting. Heledd Rees's costume design is gorgeous as is Rachel Sampley's lighting design.

The cast are outstanding. Their ability to mingle and bounce off members of the audience is superb. Their confident control of a crowd whilst never making anything feels forced. The teaching of guests the steps of the Charleston is great fun to get involved with. Even the interactions you may not see in the side rooms carry as the atmosphere flows back into the main performance space. 

Elliot Liburd as Jay Gatsby. Photo by Mark Senior

Elliot Liburd centrally is fantastic as Jay Gatsby. At first, he looms like a Phantom of the Opera style figure in different parts of the room out of the action but as the intensity picks up throughout it's his central performance that guides the action along. Safeena Ladha excellently breathes life into Daisy Buchanan, she has real control of the emotions, so much so that the twists the character goes through particularly towards the end caught me by surprise as I didn't see it coming. 

Aimee Barrett's Myrtle was the first interaction we enjoyed and I found her performance captivating. She oozes likeability and is constantly watchable. Her relationship with Steve McCourt's commanding George is interesting and fascinating. Jessica Hern's endless energetic Jordan Baker seems most at ease in striking up small talk that she manages to carry into the main script. 

The performance is constantly gripping. At times you don't know where to look or where to go but being in control of your own destiny throughout the performance makes everything even more exciting. It's a uniquely exhilarating experience that you have to throw yourself into. Forget the troubles of the real world and escape in this sizzling dramatic party.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

The Great Gatsby continues at Immersive London where it currently books until October 2022. Visit for booking or further details.

 Safeena Ladha as Daisy Buchanan. Photo by Mark Senior

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