Travel story: Partying Like it’s 1922

It was your typical rainy day in Dublin and after a day filled with adventures and walks, it was time for a party. Time to dress up! Feathers in my hair, a black flapper dress, silk gloves that reached my elbows and pearls adorning my neck. My dancing shoes were polished and shining. Boyfriend was wearing a vest, a bowtie and a bowler hat. We looked stunning. We looked ready for a party.

After a quick meal of cauliflower soup, we headed towards The Gate where the party was being held. Not sure what to expect, but dressed the part nonetheless, we went in. A man in a beautiful suit asked for our tickets and after him pronouncing my name very funnily, we were allowed in. We were not the first ones to arrive, luckily. Who arrives first at a party! The anticipation hung in the room, people were looking around, waiting for it to start. Whatever ‘it’ was, but enjoying themselves. We got ourselves a drink and looked at the people around us. Most were dressed like we were, some were dressed in weirdly modern clothing. More and more guests seemed to arrive, until it was full enough to have a good party. Until one man, who had been chatting away here and there, stepped into the spotlight:

 “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”

And so it began. The party. The fabulous party that everyone wanted to visit, but not everyone was lucky enough to be invited. The party of the great Jay Gatsby.

Reading the Great Gatsby is one thing. You can follow the entire storyline, with all its little trips outside the main story, following characters that have their own problems to deal with, that don’t focus on the main plot. Seeing the movie is probably like that, but usally with bits and pieces cut out of it, but I must admit I haven’t seen it. Experiencing the story however, on one of Gatsby’s own parties, is a whole different thing.

For this is what we came for. A play of the Great Gatsby, but not your typical ‘sit in your chair, watch and shut your mouth’ kinda play, no, this was an experience. Dress the part. Join the party. Talk to the party guests. Learn how to dance the charleston and just enjoying yourself.

And we did. Thorougly. We danced. We laughed. We sometimes followed side charachters into side rooms to hear parts of their lives, but never missed the big parts that were going on in the big, beautiful hallway where the party was held.

Seeing shows and plays is one of our little traditions whenever we travel somewhere. Whether it’s the opera in Prague, a tragedy in Shakespeare’s own theatre, a flamenco show or a comedy where everything goes wrong, we always seek and usually find inspiring entertainment on our trips. When I heard of this one, I must admit I wasn’t immediately excited. I don’t enjoy audience participation, usually. But this was different. This was a play in a setting that fit the book absolutely perfectly and it was so well done. I had a marvelous time and I’m pretty sure all of the other guests at Gatsby’s party did too!

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