Actors get up close and personal as Gatsby returns to an old haunt

A scenes from The Great Gatsby at Castle Howard. Picture: Charlotte Graham
A scenes from The Great Gatsby at Castle Howard. Picture: Charlotte Graham
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A piece of “immersive theatre” created in York and then taken to London will be restaged in the summer at a singularly appropriate venue.

The Great Gatsby, a two-hour performance which includes one-on-one encounters between actors and audience members, was fashioned from the 1925 F Scott Fitzgerald novel by the Guild Of Misrule theatre company. It will be staged over five evenings in July at Castle Howard, whose international fame stems from another novel, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited – the TV adaptation of which was filmed there.

The production, created by York-based director Alexander Wright, invites the audience to follow the characters around the building as the drama unfolds.

“Theatrical audiences usually view the performance from the outside, but with The Great Gatsby at Castle Howard, the rooms themselves will become part of the story. It will be such an exciting experience for performers and audience alike,” Mr Wright said.

Nicholas Howard, who runs the stately home on the outskirts of York, said it would be “a very fitting setting” for the play.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have secured this critically-acclaimed play as a highlight of our summer programme,” Mr Howard said.

“When the setting is to become an ‘actor’ within a performance, it is important that the story feels appropriate for the setting, so I think it’s going to be a great way to experience one of the most evocative pieces of American literature.”

The show has been running in south London since last summer. However, the unfamiliar and sometimes intimate nature of the encounters with the cast led producers to step in after two incidents of “sexual misconduct” by patrons were reported.