Party like it’s 1929 at The Great Gatsby Immersive Experience

Summary

After two years of sold-out shows in London, The Great Gatsby Immersive Experience, where party-goers mingle with actors, is coming to Brussels

Part of the action

“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 ’20s in America were iconically described by F Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, a story of love, loss, tragedy … and killer parties.

The story is made up of complex characters and, conversely, lavish, shallow parties. Jay Gatsby’s parties are the stuff of dreams, a fantasy applied to the public to win affection.

A London theatre troupe is now out to win your affection. The Immersive Ensemble is a collection of performers and playwrights changing the way theatre is experienced. The Great Gatsby is their third show and will premier in Brussels on 14 March.

Secret location

While most of the guests at the party are the ticket-buying public, some of them are actors. “It’s basically a play,” says producer Peter Monbailleu. “It involves a lot of dancing, but not on a stage. It takes place among the audience and tells the story right in front of them.”

Languages of the show will vary, presented in English, French and Dutch, depending on the night. The location of the party/show is only revealed when you buy a ticket.

“As soon as you arrive at the secret location, you have the feeling that you have stepped back into the 1920s,” says Monbailleu. “That is the whole concept. We ask people to turn off their phones, for instance. Nobody’s taking pictures, and that’s part of the fun.”

A maximum of 200 people mix 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 have been cast locally.

While guests are encouraged to dress in costumes that represent the period, as long as their clothes are festive, it’s not a problem. “You’re going to want to dress up,” insists Monbailleu. “It’s so much fun to arrive in a nice outfit.”

14 March to 19 May, secret location in Brussels