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The Great Gatsby Sets

Published on Friday 15 February, 2013

Since early November, Northern Ballet’s technical team has been hard at work building the sets for the World Première of The Great Gatsby.

Jonny Mills

Designed by Jerôme Kaplan, who also designed David Nixon’s Ondine and A Sleeping Beauty Tale, the stunning sets will play a crucial part in recreating New York’s glamorous 1920s.

We joined carpenter Jonny Mills at the Company’s technical base in Bramley, Leeds to get a glimpse of how the sets are coming along.

The front of The Car Gas Pumps

‘The sets for The Great Gatsby are much simpler and more contemporary than some of the sets we’ve built in the past, such as Beauty & the Beast. Of course there will be lots of open space for the dancers to perform, with some really beautiful backdrops and scenery.’

Creating the backdrop to one of Gatsby’s famous party scenes has involved tying over 23,000 artificial leaves to camouflage netting, whilst a giant windmill and 45ft long pier will be other impressive features of the set.

Party scene backdrop The Pier

‘The most impressive scene will definitely be the garage scene with the bright red petrol pumps. It’s been a lot of fun to build and will involve some really interesting props as well.’

The garage scene was inspired by artist Edward Hopper’s famous painting ‘Gas’, and provides a stunning setting for Gatsby’s iconic yellow car.

‘The car itself took us about two weeks to build. Jerôme gave us a model box of the set which Steve Wilkins, our Technical Manager, then turns into a working drawing. All of the practical considerations are taken into account such as weight, durability and safety before we put it together with whatever materials we can lay our hands on.’

‘It’s great to get your teeth into building something like the car and we’re really pleased with the results. It really illustrates the 1920s era of glamour and style and is a highlight of the set.’

The garage model box

With just the finishing touches to be applied before the sets are transported to Leeds Grand Theatre for the World Première, The Great Gatsby promises to be one of the Company’s most stylish productions to date.

Don’t miss your chance to see it all come together on stage this spring.

The Car

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...

Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts
+86 10 6655 0000
Shanghai Grand Theatre
+86 21 6372 8701
Norwich Theatre Royal
01603 630 000
London Sadler's Wells
020 7863 8000
Bradford Alhambra Theatre
01274 432000
Canterbury Marlowe Theatre
01227 787787
Nottingham Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555
Woking New Victoria Theatre
0844 871 7645
London Sadler's Wells
020 7863 8000
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.