Everyman Theatre bring F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the classic fable of America, the Jazz Age, enchantment and illusions, to Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre this week.
Launching the company’s 2018 season, the rarely staged play is adapted by Simon Levy in the only version to be authorised by the Fitzgerald Estate and believed to be a first in Wales.
On New York’s Long Island, in the heady, indulgent days of the 1920s, the narrator Nick Carraway comes to know his infamous neighbour Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire with a secret past and a penchant for lavish parties.
Actress Elin Edwards who counts among her other appearances roles in Guys and Dolls and Hamlet has the task of bringing the role of Daisy Buchanan to life on stage.
“It’s such a famous story and I was drawn to the fact that it’s rarely performed but so evocative a novel. I remember studying it at school, a real breakdown of the American Dream in action.”
“I was chuffed to be offered Daisy too, I couldn’t warm to her at the beginning and what’s interesting is that big names like Carey Mulligan and Mia Farrow have played her, but both totally differently. So, I’ve tried to put my own stamp on her, she’s a little southern, a little New York, a little rich girl, naive, a party girl, a mother… Like all women she’s got a different hat on every hour of the day!”
With Daisy been such a multi-layered character, how has Elin found the role?
“She’s good fun but exhausting to play as she can yo-yo from deliriously happy one moment to very emotional the next,” says Elin, “You can’t help but like her, she’s an incorrigible flirt. She’s filthy rich, but also quite a tragic character because she’s trapped and ends up essentially the plaything of two men who project all their vanities on her.”
Steeped with exciting characters and an enthralling plot, Elin’s enthusiasm for Everyman Theatre’s Welsh premiere of The Great Gatsby is already bubbling over!
“I hope the audience will enjoy the party, we’ve got Charleston and champagne flowing!” says Elin.
The Great Gatsby runs at Chapter Arts Centre from Tuesday 27 February until Saturday March 3, 2018 and will run each evening at 7.30pm (with an additional matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday)