In theory, a ballet adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is an impossible task. The classic novel relies too heavily on a diligent narrator and the mystery buried between the lines for it to be told without words.
And yet director David Nixon and the talented Northern Ballet have made it work.
The storyline leans heavily on music provided by a live orchestra to tell the scandalous tale so even a Gatsby novice would gather the basic plot. Music from the era combined with a stunning array of costumes captures the vibrant fashions of the roaring twenties to bring the era to life, and the complicated scenery creates a huge world in which the drama is free to unfold.
And of course the dancing is spectacular – the point-work of the ballerinas is impressive and the choreography was refreshing as it combined jives and Charlestons with traditional ballet. Daisy’s complicated relationships are reflected in the jarring, clumsy dances with her husband Tom juxtaposed with the fluid, perfectly coordinated routines with lost love Gatsby.
But the real moment to behold is reserved for the swansong dance between Gatsby and Daisy at the end of the performance which is utterly gorgeous and heart-warming, and makes the brutal ending even more painful.
What a glamorous way to spend an evening.
The Great Gatsby is on at the Theatre Royal until Saturday October 4. For tickets visit www.trch.co.uk.