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Independent Theatre Presents F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY, Now thru Sept 12

Independent Theatre is poised to roar into The Space with a new version of what is considered the greatest American novel of the twentieth century.

Yes, it's F Scott Fitzgerald's iconic romance, THE GREAT GATSBY.

Gatsby! The very name conjures up glamorous images of cars, cocktails, jazz,romance. Even people who know nothing of the story understand the mystique.

Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda epitomised the Jazz Age - those heady yearsbetween the end of the Great War and the Wall Street crash. Indeed, he even gavethe Age its name! It stood for freedom, money, music - and above all, the Parties! -all in the midst of nation-wide Prohibition.

Fitzgerald's first novel - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE (1920) - made him anovernight success. THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED followed in 1922, and then, in 1925, what is now regarded as his masterpiece - THE GREAT GATSBY - the story of a poor man's obsessive quest to amass a fortune and win back a lost love.

Small wonder that Hollywood saw its dramatic potential. Filmed first as a 1926 silent movie, it has since been a 1949 Alan Ladd film, the glamorous 1974 film with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, a 2000 tele-movie with Toby Stephens and Mira Sorvino, and Baz Luhrmann's recent extravaganza starring Leonardo di Caprio.

Yet the novel itself was not considered "great" when published in 1925. Indeed, it was out of print at the time of Fitzgerald's tragically early death in 1940.

So, what is it about this little book that has made it so iconic? And what makes a stage version different from all the films?

In each of the films, much of the novel is omitted - especially the growing relationship between Nick Carraway and the enigmatic Gatsby, which culminates in the great confessional scenes between the two men, always considered too long and complex for film. Happily, these scenes can be explored theatrically, and add considerable depth to the story - finally justifying Nick's famous last words to Gatsby: "you're worth the whole damn bunch put together".

Director ROB CROSER is a prolific adapter of great works of literature to the stage,with Mapp and Lucia, Daniel Deronda, Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice,East of Eden and The Magnificent Ambersons to his credit.He has been interested in adapting GATSBY for a long time, but it has taken himsome years, and a lot of thought, before finding a way into it.

Considered one of the great modern romances, the novel actually contains no reallove-dialogue for Gatsby and Daisy, and they are never seen alone together. Thevarious film versions have approached the problem by inventing rather hollow-sounding "love scenes" from other Fitzgerald "rich girl/poor boy" short stories.

A recent re-reading of the novel convinced Rob that the story was actually NickCarraway's, and Nick's fascination with the Gatsby/Daisy phenomenon. And so -by retaining Nick's constant presence and narrative voice - an audience didn't needto see and hear everything that passed between Gatsby and Daisy, but, instead, gowith Nick on his journey of discovery and disillusionment.

Retaining Fitzgerald's exquisitely poetic, descriptive prose, Rob's adaptation, thus,becomes a memory play, and a much more richly complex, emotionally satisfyingexamination of the relationships at the heart of this multi-faceted gem of a novel.

As Nick Carraway, WILL COX - who joined Independent Theatre at 14 for the 2007To Kill a Mockingbird - is no stranger to this type of massive role. Indeed, he wonthe Best Actor Curtain Call Award for his never-off-stage narrating role inIndependent Theatre's Huckleberry Finn at age 15.

On a stunning art-deco set, and decked out with kaleidoscopic Roaring Twentiescostumes, the production is threaded together with popular '20s songs and dancesperformed by BEN FRANCIS (Peter Pan in last year's Peter and Alice).

IF YOU GO:

THE GREAT GATSBY

Original novel by F Scott Fitzgerald

Adapted to the stage and directed by Rob Croser

Designed by David Roach, Rob Croser and Rod Roach

CAST:

Will Cox as Nick Carraway

Lindsay Prodea as Jay Gatsby

Madeleine Herd as Daisy Buchanan

Alex Woollatt as Tom Buchanan

Laura Antoniazzi as Jordan Baker

Ben Francis as the Jazz Singer

WHEN: Tonight, September 3 - 12, 2015

Opening night: 7.45 pm Thursday September 3rd

Extra matinee - Wednesday 9th @ 11.00am

WHERE: The Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

TICKETS: BASS 131 246 0r www.bass.net.au


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