Gatz London (and malteasers)

I was taken to see Gatz London yesterday. Gatz has come over from a hugely successful run in the States to great fanfare- one critic, helpfully quoted on the Gatz website, describes it as ‘the most remarkable achievement in theatre not only of this year, but also of this decade’. It is, in the simplest terms, a dramatic reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. In real terms, it’s 6 solid hours of theatre, interspersed with intervals and a dinner break, which means you enter cheerily at 2.30pm in the afternoon, and leave the Noel Coward theatre at 10.30pm in the evening, ejected daze-like into the night.

I thought it was tremendous. My companion liked it so much he’s hoping to go again. (I liked it enormously. I will certainly not be going again. Did you not hear that it’s EIGHT HOURS OF THEATRE?)

But if you want to see it, go to the website- I’m here to talk about snacks. People go to the theatre for many and varying reasons, but I’m pretty sure that everyone goes to the theatre for the snacks. There’s something special about theatre food. It’s like normal food, but better. (I assume that must be true- or else why is it 4 times as expensive?)

My companion left me to carry the snacks, so I clambered into my seat laden with boxes of malteasers and japanese rice crackers. (In separate boxes- I’m not an animal). ‘I’m so sorry,’ I said to the lady sitting next to me, as I saved myself from falling by sitting on her lap. ‘Here you go,’ My friend said, passing me a large G&T. ‘I got us 2 each.’ ‘Good planning,’ I whispered in reply. ‘We’re so good at the theatre.’

We were not. We whispered loudly in delight at key dramatic moments, got up several times to go to the toilet, and realised early on that there is no food in the entire world louder than rice crackers and malteasers.

‘The thing is,’ I said to my friend. ‘It’s really not our fault. These are the only snacks the theatre sells! You know what really would be ‘the most remarkable achievement in theatre not only of this year, but also of this decade’? Quiet theatre snacks.’ My friend agreed, and asked me to stop talking to him during the play. At least I think that’s what he said. It was hard to hear over the crunch of my malteasers.

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