The Great Gatsby at a secret location in downtown Brussels

It is known as “immersive” theatre and, if you haven’t experienced it yet, you’ll soon get the chance with an upcoming production in Brussels of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The roaring twenties come to life with sparkle, drama and a large yet intimate party in this innovative version of Fitzgerald’s classic novel. Welcome to the world of 1920’s jazz, cocktails and excess with this extraordinary production of Fitzgerald’s seminal tale of lust and liquor.

After five movies and innumerable plays, “The Great Gatsby Immersive” promises to take the audience deeper into the story and closer to the legend than ever before. A spokesman for the show told this website, “In our secret speakeasy in downtown Brussels, the audience will live their own version of the classic tale. They will embark on an adventure with the actors and roam through the home of Jay Gatsby.

“The production is full of hot jazz, bootleg liquor and intimate encounters. From big set piece dance routines, to secret meetings and snatched moments, no audience experience will ever be the same.”



For once the hype is probably justified and if there was any doubt check out the rave reviews the production has received elsewhere. The good news it that it is coming to Brussels where it will take over an as-yet “secret” location in the city after a sell-out season in London. At this version of the story you can learn to Charleston, creep down corridors behind adulterers or eavesdrop on plans for a tea party. Rather than a single linear narrative, the production breathes life into Fitzgerald’s prose with multiple scenes happening simultaneously.



For the Brussels shows, some of which are already sold out, there will be a French cast and a Flemish cast. The production has attracted full houses in London for over 2 years and is creating quite a stir as it is readies to cross the channel. For the uninitiated, The Great Gatsby is “immersive” theatre where the audience itself participates in the story of Jay Gatsby together with the actors.

The characters in the piece are real enough but, uniquely, they tell their story “up close and personal” with the audience.


The Great Gatsby -Photo by Helen Maybanks


Be advised: There is no stage but a lot of rooms, bedrooms,  jazz bar and a hidden boudoir. The audience is taken along in tow with the actors and is invited to sing and dance together with them. The public is also asked to come “dressed up” – 20s style of course – but that is not a must. Either way, be prepared for lots of plumes, boas, hats and ties. A week before the show visitors get a message from Jay Gatsby, with the address where they are expected (the location).


The Great Gatsby – Photo by Helen Maybanks

For this version, the script has been completely translated and reworked and the show will be presented in Brussels by 10 actors, including Veerle Malschaert, Katja Retsin and Timo Descamps. The Great Gatsby runs from March 21 at a “secret location” in Brussels. Only 200 people can participate per performance so, be warned, early booking is essential.

There are French, Flemish and English versions