Review: The Great Gatsby, The Guild Of Misrule, Castle Howard, tonight, Saturday and Sunday; party invitation for 7pm. Box office: at

BACK in student-day 1981, you might have dreamed of joining Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder at a Brideshead soiree (filmed at Castle Howard).

If that were the essence of Englishness in the Waugh years, now Castle Howard has turned American for five nights, transformed by Stillington writer-director Alexander Flanagan-Wright into the Long Island palatial residence of the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Oliver Towse).

The Guild Of Misrule’s immersive, party-night rendition of The Great Gatsby had begun in an empty York pub in Gillygate, more in keeping with Gatsby’s shady drug stores. This week it is playing its grandest home yet, but still with its cornerstones of audience participation in dressing the part, Charleston dancing and moving between set pieces in bigger rooms (the Great Hall, the Grecian Hall) and more intimate moments, this time in bedrooms not usually open to the public, as well as the Long Gallery.

It remains something of a lottery as to whether you will follow Daisy (Amie Burns Walker) and Gatsby into one of their scenes, or Myrtle (Casey Jay Andrews) and hot-headed polo player Tom Buchanan (Cornelius Geaney Jnr) in the heat of their passion in the Long Gallery, or even Gatsby into the Chapel, as one audience member was invited by him to do.

Go with the flow, participate as much as possible, definitely dance, enjoy the soulful signing of Phil Grainger’s George Wilson, and relish this most enjoyable time with F Scott Fitzgerald’s ironically unlikeable bunch. And, above all, have a ball at Castle Howard.

Charles Hutchinson