Going Gatsby

Dalhousie’s Theater Society’s rendition of the classic novel was indeed great

Directed by Hannah Harper and Ryan Wilcox of the Dalhousie Theatre Society, this F. Scott Fitzgerald classic of the ephemera of love and consumption was performed from November 19th through the 21st. This adaptation, written by Simon Levy, obviously lacks the intense descriptions of the original work, but still remained excellent in conveying the same messages.

Perhaps the most striking part of the performance itself was the way in which the space itself was used to help convey the powerful emotions of the story. Presented in The Living Room on Agricola Street, the tightness of the room must’ve been used conscientiously to assist with this, as the audience itself was member too some of the most intimate and most enraged situations within the play. In this, particularly striking was the performance of Ian French and Bana Helou as Tom and Daisy Buchanan respectively. French would take the anger of the role very well, as he sought to establish a sense of control over others in his life which he lacked in his own, although at times it did seem to perhaps be a bit too loud.

If there was any one specific aspect of the play to kvetch about, it’d be in Jon Cheverie’s performance as Nick Carraway. The performance itself was excellent, as he wanders about the play unable to control anything, anything but his own behaviour and sensibilities. This strength of character, though, was a bit inconsistent in how it was construed, not really coming out as strongly in the first half as it does in the second half, such as it does when he leaves Jordan Baker (Kathleen Olds). This kind of a bubbling over of emotions by Carraway is true to the story, but as something which I always imagined to be more constrained in how it developed.

Overall though, this work was another great performance by the Dalhousie Theatre Society, and the overflowing enthusiasm and learning which the performers and organizers put for the piece was felt all throughout the show.

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