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Travel back in time and party with Gatsby at unique Brussels show
“I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”
An era of prohibition, flappers and jazz, the roaring twenties in America were iconically described by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby - a story of love, loss and tragedy.
The story is entwined with complex characters and romanticised descriptions of lavish parties. Anyone who has read the book probably dreamt of an invite to Jay Gatsby’s mansion for a night of drinks and dancing.
Now, a London theatre troupe is looking to make this dream a reality. The Immersive Ensemble is a collection of performers and playwrights changing the way stories are told and experienced. The Great Gatsby is their third produced show and will premier in Brussels on 19 March.
One of the producers for the Belgium show, Peter Monbailleu, says each week the show will switch between French, Dutch and English.
"It’s basically a play,” Monbailleu says. “It involves a lot of dancing, but not on a stage. It is with the people and telling the story in the people’s faces.
"As soon as you step into the secret location, you enter a world where you have the feeling that you are stepping back into the 1920s. That is the whole concept. We ask people to turn off their phones, and people do that. Nobody’s taking pictures and that’s the whole fun part of it.”"
A maximum of 200 people are allowed to attend each show with a cast of 10 actors. The London cast will travel to Brussels to perform the show in English, but the French and Dutch shows will be cast locally.
"The actors really integrate with the audience," Monbailleu says. "Brussels doesn’t have something like this. It’s the full Great Gatsby story. You have to dress up. You’re going to want to. It’s so much fun to arrive in a nice dress and outfit."
The Great Gatsby, 14 March to 19 May, secret location in Brussels