It’s almost like peeling an onion: Nick Carraway picks layer by layer—but he doesn’t come across a core. His neighbor Jay Gatsby remains a mystery to him and the audience of this story. I’m just late getting some insight into what drives this mysterious, elusive man.
The first night Carraway was a guest was at one of Gatsby’s lavish parties at his flashy mansion on Long Island, which Carraway overlooks from his modest estate—as a visitor to the party from a voyeuristic distance, if you will, who was before he was actually invited. The host does not appear as such, and the way Carraway eventually gets to know him personally is a bit embarrassing for the guest.
Most of the characters’ lust for life far outweighs their sense of propriety.
The Great Gatsby, the most famous novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a tale of glamor and dazzle, greed and self-indulgence, naiveté and ingratitude – judging by the people around the title character. The art of this story and its author is that its center is kept enigmatic, seemingly unoccupied for long. Oliver Storm has now staged it for NDR as a radio play in two parts, each lasting about an hour and a half.
Sturm’s production not only weaves through all the intricacies of a novel’s plot, but he cleverly peels back the essentials: the description of longing. He takes the time he needs. It depicts the virtuosity of the characters, their penchant for the vulgar, the outrageous, and their lust for life, which is far greater than their sense of propriety. Sabine Worthmann’s compositions are what jazz is: a musical expression of sexual desire.
Lost in the middle of this scene is the sober Nick Carraway, played by Matthias Bundeschuh, and the brilliant Jay Gatsby, played by Michael Rochov, both of whom are closer than they first appear. Because both men in their own way are deeper than the rest of the baggage. Birgit Mennishmeier and Peter Lemaire can be heard in supporting roles. This radio play is also: making the excesses of the story heard through actors who love to play.
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