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Ten facts about The Great Gatsby

Published on Thursday 15 November, 2012

In preparation for the production we’re all learning a lot about the book and the roaring 20s so thought I'd share some facts I've learned so far..

Martha Leebolt & Tobias Batley. Photo Jason Tozer.
  • One alternate title for the book was, Under the Red, White, and Blue
  • Dance crazes of the time included the Charleston and the Shimmy
  • Slang of the era...
    Slang Translation
    broads, dames, bims & dolls   women
    bulls a plain-clothed police officer
    boiler or bucket a car
    dewdropper an unemployed man who sleeps all day
      More 20s slang from
  • Men were known for wearing plus fours which were smart, over the knee shorts
  • Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, refused to marry him until he had a firm financial footing. It only took him  serving in the Army, moving to New York in 1919 and having his first success with This Side of Paradise before she finally agreed.
  • The book was banned in American schools after being challenged in 1987 by the Baptist College in Charleston, South Carolina for "...language and sexual references in the book..."
  • Only the first chapter of The Great Gatsby was written in New York, the majority he wrote in the south of France and revisions in Rome
  • Four line poem at the beginning of the book entitled Then Wear the Gold Hat was credited to Thomas Parke D’Invilliers. He never actually existed and was a character from Fitzgerald’s first novel - This Side of Paradise.
  • Because of prohibition alcohol was illegal in the US at the time which led to bootlegging
  • Hunter S Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, retyped The Great Gatsby just to get the feel of writing styles and how writing a novel was like

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other facts about The Great Gatsby worth sharing.

Communications Officer: PR and digital media

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.

Touring to

This production is not currently on tour. Take a look at our national tour listings to see what we're performing and where.

Previously toured to...

Norwich, Theatre Royal
01603 630 000
London, Sadler's Wells
0844 412 4300
Bradford, Alhambra Theatre
01274 432 000
Canterbury, Marlowe Theatre
01227 787787
Nottingham, Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555
Woking, New Victoria Theatre
0844 871 7645
London, Sadler's Wells
0844 412 4300
Norwich, Theatre Royal
01603 630 000
Cardiff, New Theatre
029 2087 8889
Milton Keynes Theatre
0844 871 7652
Belfast, Grand Opera House
028 9024 1919
Hull New Theatre
01482 300 300
Edinburgh, Festival Theatre
0131 529 6000
Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre
0114 249 6000
Leeds, Grand Theatre
0844 848 2700

This table displays past performances of this production.