‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ review
Time Out says
Soul-crushing immersive adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s bad boy banking memoir
The press night for this immersive theatre adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s infamous memoir ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ was delayed by almost two months as the production was beset with issues. Now that it has finally opened, it’s not been worth the wait.
You have to wonder what director Alexander Wright was thinking when he decided to adapt ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. What sort of contribution was he hoping to make to the world of theatre? Was there something about ‘Wolf’ that was particularly emotionally resonant, or artistically valuable? Or was it a cynical recognition of what audiences expect from immersive experience and how a play about drugs and money and swearing was an obvious way to cash in?
Anyone unfamiliar with Belfort’s memoir or Martin Scorsese’s more famous film version probably won’t follow the story. Suffice to say, the Wolf is Jordan Belfort, and he’s making a lot of money, illegally, on Wall Street. Everyone gets rich and parties, then the FBI close in and it all goes to hell.
Audience members are funnelled into different rooms and up and down stairs to watch various interminable shouty scenes; by the end, many were yawning and shifting restlessly. Much of the set design money has gone into the three rooms with bars (the boardroom in the basement is worth a peek). Most of the other rooms feel like liminal spaces, barely filled by cheap furniture and draped sheets on the ceiling.
Character development consists of people yelling ‘fucking’ every seven words and getting horny for fake $100 dollar notes, with the exception of Nadine Belfort, Jordan’s long-suffering wife, who is played with ferocity, tenderness and complexity by Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty. Charlotte Brown as fire-breathing PA Janet and James Bryant as king clown trader Danny are also glimmers of light in the sludge, quick-witted with the banter.
Overall this is a soulless, tedious production with very little to recommend it, least of all the rest of the audience, who do get suspiciously enthusiastic about racist slurs and misogyny. Give this a miss and try Wright’s long-running ‘Gatsby’, which does everything ‘Wolf’ tries and fails to do.
|Venue name:||Immersive Wolf of Wall Street|
5-15 Sun Street
Dates And Times
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Average User Rating
3 / 5
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I went to see this immersive experience in December at a matinee. I turned up with 7 family members and was excited but a little nervous not knowing what to expect. I was prepared to be shocked with the over indulgence and greed of Jordan Belfort's lifestyle, but I didn't know I would be taken on such an emotional rollercoaster of emotions during the performance. I was taken on the Nadine journey as you are split into groups to follow the different story lines. The acting was superb and I got totally immersed into the heart breaking story of his wife and daughter which I didn't expect. Oliver Tilney, who plays Jordan was brilliant .He is very menacing in his drug fuelled scenes and from a woman's point of view, a real monster. There are light moments and fun interactives scenes which you can get involved in as much as you like. The second half is very powerful and thought provoking, telling the story of the fall of Jordan Belfort told from his wife Nadine. I must admit I shed a few tears at the final scene. A brilliant production!!
(The organizers disabled all comments functions on their social media hence this review is written for them to see). I attended your performance today and was extremely disappointed.
The production value is low, it's like an unfinished construction site (the FT review would agree). Some rooms are boiling hot. The drinks are such a rip off (£9 for a G&T?!) We are dragged up and down the stairs at random and hence no audience experience a coherent storyline. I'd suggest either allowing people to go anywhere they want (secret cinema style) or give ppl a fixed team so at least you can control what ppl see. Technology failure more than once- no sound on the video so I missed the closing act, and random sounds coming out before the end too. The only saving grace were the actors and actresses, they were putting in a lot of effort to salvage the performance. I saw lots of people leaving half way.
If you are the organizer and see this, I'd really like to discuss a possibility of refund of compensation of some sort.
If you bought a ticket, sell it asap!
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