Should we call time on drink sponsorship of the arts?
Culture Shock: The Gate’s ‘Great Gatsby’ immerses the audience in alcohol, and not just in the play
I’ll drink to that: The Great Gatsby at the Gate Theatre in Dublin is a full-blown party, complete with cocktails for the audience. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Moving swiftly around the Gate Theatre the other day, during its transition into the effervescent pleasure palace of the Gatsby mansion, its artistic director, Selina Cartmell, explained various drinks sponsorships. If there was any irony that F Scott FitzGerald’s classic of the Prohibition era had, in its transposition to a piece of promenade theatre, managed to cut so many deals with liquor brands, it was absent from Cartmell’s voice; she sounded neither embarrassed nor gleeful.
It was just the way it is: Bulleit for the whiskey bar, Tanqueray for the gin cocktails, Veuve Clicquot for the champagne bar. Such is the saturation of alcohol through our culture that only one label in this sprawling space was anachronistic.