‘It’s still enormously relatable even in the modern day’: Charlotte Wakefield stars in the online revival of Gatsby A Musical

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The actress chatted to us about the upcoming revival of Gatsby A Musical, being filmed at the Cadogan Hall and streamed from 12-14 February 2021.

Thanks so much for talking to me. For those who weren’t aware of Gatsby A Musical – what can they expect?
Well, the show is a musical adaptation of the famous and beloved novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald but this time it’s through the eyes of Daisy. Without giving too much away for those who don’t know the story, we begin the show seven years after that fateful event at Gatsby’s mansion. Daisy, having left that life behind, is unaware of the events that took place and has returned in search of Jay Gatsby. We follow the unfolding events through her eyes. It’s a compelling story of loss and disappointment but also hope… kind of like the time we are in now. The roaring 20s strike again.

What is the score like for the show – any favourite songs?
The score is really complex. It has a strong jazz routes but also explores all sorts of genres. There is a wonderful duet between Daisy and Myrtle that I just adore. It’s made all the better by the fact that I get to sing it with my good friend Emma Williams who is playing Myrtle. It’s a soaring, pining ballad full of passion and emotion.

Could you tell me more about the character that you play?
I play Daisy Buchanan. She is an aristocrat from Louisville who is married to Tom, a very wealthy and powerful man. Old money. She has an amazing sense of effortless beauty and grace which is what caught the eye of Gatsby. She is playful and funny but is often suppressed by the era and environment in which she must live because of her social standing. I am really looking forward to exploring her stillness which brings such emotional complexity. A woman who is both modern but also stuck.

What is it about the story of Gatsby that continues to fascinate people?
The story has stood the test of time. It’s still enormously relatable even in modern day. People’s hunger for wealth. Learning that money doesn’t buy happiness. The broken “American Dream” as it were. Love, Loss, Tragedy, Greed, Hope, Forgiveness. Humanity and all its flaws.

How did you become involved with the show?
I actually workshopped the show and the role of Daisy in one of it’s original conceptions back in 2014 and have followed its progress ever since. I was unavailable for its run at The Zedel but I just loved watching the show flourish. Director, Linnie, approached myself and my fiancé Marc Rhys and asked if we would be interested in working on the show together as Tom and Daisy. We of course said yes. Being a pre existing “bubble” allows us to work as a duo more easily and of course we jumped at the chance to work together again.

Have you a favourite moment in the show? There are so many wonderful moments but I think, for me, there is a beautiful scene between Daisy and Gatsby where she explains to him for the first time why she never replied to his letter. It’s the first time we see their vulnerability. It’s a real turning point for the both of them.

How does it feel to be performing during these times again?It’s going to be amazing. Different, but amazing. So often, I take performing for granted. When it’s your job and you have done it for so many years (twenty in my case!) you can sometimes forget what it was that made love performing so much in the first place. It brings me so much joy and just seeing peoples faces out there, even if it’s a streaming screenshot, I know that I have helped to give someone three hours of joy and escapism! I can’t wait to get back out on a stage again, sing my heart out and bring a story to life!

By Emma Clarendon

Gatsby A Musical will be available to watch from the 12th to the 14th February. Tickets can be purchased online at www.webgig.tv for £20. Early bird tickets are available for £15 if booked before Friday 5th February.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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