Dramatization of a famous novel of the Jazz Age
The representative of the so-called lost generation wrote his most famous novel The Great Gatsby in 1925. For nearly a hundred years now, the lavish parties of the enigmatic Mr Gatsby have captivated generations of new readers, as well as film and theatre audiences. American novelist and screenwriter, Jazz Age author Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) is considered one of the best American novelists of the 20th century. The son of Irish immigrants, he fell in love with a Southern belle and daughter of a judge Zelda Sayre in 1918, but she refused to marry him until he was financially secure. After vain attempts to find work in advertising agencies or newspapers, Fitzgerald shut himself up at home and within a few months wrote the novel This Side of Paradise – an autobiographical account of his Princeton years. The book was published in March 1920 and became a cultural sensation shortly after its publication. And so Francis was able to marry Zelda in April 1920 and they settled in New York. The city and its inhabitants became an inspiration for his other works (The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night, The Last Tycoon, Tales of the Jazz Age, etc.)
In the novel The Great Gatsby he describes the inhabitants of Long Island in the 1920s and their bohemian lifestyle. From the point of view of middle-class young man Nick Carraway, it showcases the superficiality of the young generation of rich people, the allure of money and the intoxicating feeling of wealth. Almost no one knows anything about Mr Gatsby, and there are fantastic rumours about how he came into his fortune. Gradually, it is explained why Gatsby is on the island and who he is, and a story of passion, love and disappointment begins to unfold, all leading to a tragic end. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” The sentence that opens the novel and the stage adaptation shows the direction Nick Carraway is taking in a world where, even though money is “second to none,” love wins in the end.
Simon Levy’s dramatization was first performed in Minnesota, USA in 2006, and was the first adaptation to be given exclusive rights by the Fitzgerald trust and subsequently performed across America and around the world.