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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

8-hour Great Gatsby play coming to London

13th February 2012

An eight-hour play may not be everyone's idea of an ideal way to spend a day during a stay in hotel accommodation in London, but you might want to make an exception for The Gatz - a new adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby.

The play has attracted sell-out audiences and won rave reviews from critics during its run in the US, with New York Times's chief theatre critic Ben Brantley describing it as "the most remarkable achievement in theatre not only of this year but the decade".

And now those in London will get a chance to catch The Gatz when the play comes to the West End as part of this year's London International Festival of Theatre.

The play transports the original story from 1920s upstate New York to a drab office in the same state in the 1990s.

John Collins, director of New York-based theatre company Elevator Repair Service, which produced the play, told the Guardian. "We thought late-90s New York resembled late-20s New York - reckless exuberance and new wealth. But I also got interested in the problem of putting a novel on-stage and I didn't want to bring in a playwright to recraft it because the writing seemed perfect to me."

The play features all 49,000 words of the original text, with the main character Nick finding a copy of The Great Gatsby which he begins reading out.

As he does so, his co-workers slowly turn into Fitzgerald's characters.

"The most commitment is in the first 30 minutes, because that's when we're asking people to slow down their clocks a little bit," added Mr Collins. "Once they do that there's a huge reward in getting to the last chapter, which is where some of the most beautiful writing is."

There will be a total of 23 performances of play at the Noel Coward Theatre between June 8th and July 15th.

Performances will begin at 2pm and finish at 10pm with a 90-minute break for dinner.


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