Great Gatsby Themed Entertainment

May 21, 2013

“... I like large corporate events. They’re so intimate. At small corporate events there isn’t any privacy... Also I like when there’s lots of entertainment... Preferably booked through someone like Sternberg Clarke” So said Jordan Baker in F. Scott FitzGerald’s novella The Great Gatsby... sort of. With Baz Luhrmann’s lavish screen adaptation hitting screens this month, plenty of events planners are looking to channel their inner Gatsby and put on the kind of party that’s worth driving recklessly across town for and a big part of getting the theme right is the entertainment.

Thankfully, we’re no strangers to vintage themed entertainment here at Sternberg Clarke and we’ve got plenty of ideas when it comes to creating the perfect Great Gatsby themed event. So we’ve put together our favourite Great Gatsby Themed Entertainment Ideas in an attempt to woo you, the reader, by showing how great we are. And really, if Gatsby were around today, don’t you think he’d try to impress Daisy with a sort of List Blog rather than all those expensive parties? Yeah, course he would... old sport.

 The Blind Tigers

Hell of a time to be a 1920s style Jazz Band right now, regardless of how little actual jazz made it into the recent adaptation of the quintessential Jazz Age novel. Case in point; the Blind Tigers – this vintage Jazz outfit have already played a number of Gatsby Themed events and gone down a treat thanks to their repertoire of lively 20s Jazz and impeccable dress sense – they even have those little straw boater hats. Awh.

 Flapper Dancers

‘Flapper’ was a term designated for the women of the era who flouted social norms, drinking, dancing and driving fast cars with little regard for what society thought. Though their knee length dresses and bobbed haircuts seem quaint now, the flapper look was the 1920s equivalent of hoodies and Burberry caps [citation needed]. Whether you find them outrageous in 2013 is less important, the distinctive style of dancing popular with Flapper girls of the era makes for a great visual accompaniment to period jazz music like the Blind Tigers or 78 RPM.


Booze plays a big role in The Great Gatsby – barely a page/scene goes by without a character quaffing some decadent concoction or other. But while it’s common courtesy to offer guests at a Gatsby themed event a drink, a good host would give visitors a chance to find out a little more about what they’re drinking. Cue our expert mixologists who can teach guests the ins and outs of a range of opulent cocktails from the era – they could even shed a little light on the concept of ‘bootlegging’ that plays quite a big role in the book.

 Cocktail contortionist

It’s also possible to bring the drink theme into the entertainment itself – and not by letting the acts get drunk beforehand… we tried that once, didn’t work. With an array of tinkling glasses to put one of Mr Gatsby’s parties to shame, our cocktail contortionist puts on a display of astonishing flexibility, twisting and turning into a seemingly impossible sequence of positions whilst managing not to spill any of that all-important liquor.   

 Card Sharp Magician

In an era where everyone had something up their sleeve, a little sleight of hand could help keep a guy out of trouble. These days the tricks are a just for fun, but our costumed magicians are no less adept at pulling a fast one on an unsuspecting party-goer with a range of mind-boggling close-up card magic.

Quick Change Artist

The Great Gatsby focusses on one man’s efforts to reinvent himself in order to win back the love of his life, and while our Quick Change Artists’ rapid, on-stage costume changes are a little less involved than Gatsby’s transformation from poor boy to society gentleman – the idea’s still there. Maybe Jay could pick up a few tips?

 Gentlemen Jugglers

Luhrmann’s film adaptation seeks to capture the spontaneous ‘anything goes’ atmosphere of one of Gatsby’s parties where it seems like there are surprises around every corner. Our Gentlemen Jugglers mingle with guests and burst into impromptu performances anywhere in the venue, their 20s inspired costumes work nicely with the theme too.

 Casino Tables

Bootlegging and gambling go together like a hot day and a pink suit – so naturally no 20s themed event is complete without a selection of Casino Games to capture the feel of an authentic Speakeasy. Extra touches like costumed croupiers or era appropriate fun money are always welcome additions.

For more info on booking Great Gatsby themed entertainment for corporate events, weddings or private functions – head over to our contact page and get in touch.

By Garreth Owen