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GATSBY at The Green Light - Sydney Opera House (NSW)

Presented by Sydney Opera House and Caper & Crow.

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

The Studio, Sydney Opera House

Until 24th March, 2024


An evening of decadence and debauchery awaits inside The Green Light with jaw-dropping cabaret on tap

Enter the decadent world of Jay Gatsby! Set inside the just as decadent Sydney Opera House, a night of roaring 20’s style cabaret and dance awaits that will be sure to bring in the new year with style. Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby, director Craig Ilott takes you on a robust exploration of the liquor-fuelled extravagance of the 1920’s, all under the watchful eye of Gatsby himself as he longs for the paragon of perfection, Daisy Buchanan.

Ilott has taken the crux of Fitzgerald’s story - one of greed, love, decadence and the unreachable American Dream - to showcase some of the best talents in cabaret, aerial acrobatics, tap and circus. Set inside the fictionalised bar, The Green Light, designer Stuart Couzens creates a world that feels like you’ve stepped back into a speakeasy bar of the ‘20s, but with a stylised theatrical addition by the ominously present Gatsby. 

GATSBY at The Green Light. Image Credit Prudence Upton

Waiters shuffle around producing martinis, gin, vodka and vermouth infused cocktails, complete with canapes of bronze fennel, long island shrimp sandwiches, prosciutto and icebox cake. In their tight green attire, you can give a few counts of eight before the waiters next come to the VIP tables at the front of the stage as they dance with exuberance and energy that creates an immersive feel for all. Meanwhile, in the rounded bar, the mixologists juggle bottles of vodka, stack champagne flutes and tap dance their way across the stage for some pre-show entertainment.

Before long, the house lights dim and Matt Marshall’s lighting design casts luminous shades of green, purple and red to either infuse energy in large ensemble dance numbers, or captivate with death defying stunts of aerobatics. This is The Great Gatsby for the modern age, a sensational troupe of performers take us on the journey of love and loss, wealth and debauchery that are instilled in Fitzgerald’s words. Ilott manages to find commentary on the power of wealth and money throughout, with Gatsby printed hundred dollar bills even cascading down the ramparts at one point in time. 

"an eclectic mix of jaw-dropping talent, this is the perfect reason to don your best ‘20s attire"

Gatsby and Daisy perform intimately crafted twists, turns and tumbles in a ring high above the stage, while burlesque artists like Bettie Bombshell produce fire and flame to lick and flick sparks across their body. Lucas Newland and Cassie Bartho's choreography is both energetic and erotic when it needs to be. In large group numbers, there is so much happening both on and around the stage, the audience almost feel the need to join in. Whereas when artists are, quite literally, in a cocktail flute, champagne drenching their bodies, the audience gets quite hot under the collar. 

For all its decadence and spectacle, GATSBY can’t escape a feel that it’s a showcase of talent, rather than an all immersive piece of storytelling that can be seen, for instance, at the Spiegeltent. This may sound greedy to say, but GATSBY leaves you wanting for more from the evening - a statement I realise wholly summarises the commentary from Fitzgerald’s book!

GATSBY at The Green Light is Fitzgerald’s text like you’ve never seen it before. Showcasing an eclectic mix of jaw-dropping talent, this is the perfect reason to don your best ‘20s attire and forget the nasty cozzy live for an evening of pure indulgence.


GATSBY at The Green Light

Presented by Sydney Opera House and Caper & Crow

GATSBY at The Green Light plays at the Studio, Sydney Opera House until 24 March 2024

Run time

This show runs for 75 minutes


Suitable for Mature Audiences. Production may contain haze, strobe light effects, smoke, partial nudity, adult content and themes. May include simulated smoking and drug use. Classification and warnings are subject to change. 

Cast (alphabetical by first name)

Bayley Graham

Beau Sargent

Bettie Bombshell

Elke Uhd

Florian Brooks

Jemma Crump

Miranda Menzies


Oscar Kaufmann

Zac Smith


Service Ensemble (alphabetical by first name)

Clayton Church

Erin Gaw

Jaimie Nirvana

Maddi Xuereb

Tiana Vassallo

Thomas Young

Willa Bell Klemm


Creative team

Craig Ilott, Director

Kim Moyes, Music Director

Matt Marshall, Lighting Designer

Lucas Newland, Choreographer

Cassie Bartho, Assistant Choreographer

Mason Browne & Rose Jurd, Costume Design, Alfred

Renier Jansen van Vuuren & Stuart Couzens, Set Design, Alfred

Matt Whiley, Cocktail Design


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