A disused Flintshire pub is currently taking shape as a town’s newest performance venue set in the roaring 1920s.

Theatr Clwyd will come to Mold High Street later this month when The Dolphin Hotel opens its doors to a new version of
F Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age novel, The Great Gatsby.

The new show hopes to see thousands flock into Mold town centre for a theatrical experience which puts the audience at the heart of the action.

Local businessmen Phil Smith and Nick Davies acquired The Dolphin Hotel some time ago with a view to reinstating it as a hotel and restaurant.

Mr Smith said: “The Dolphin is a landmark destination on Mold High Street, having served generations in the local community for over 100 years and having theatre in the building for the first time is a very exciting opportunity.

“This new, interactive version of The Great Gatsby has found a perfect location in a hotel which was in its heyday in the 1920s.”

Carpenters, metal workers, designers and scenic artists from the theatre have already been working for several weeks to turn the hotel into the mansion of Jay Gatsby, the novel’s protagonist.

Now the actors, creative professionals and a nine-strong local team have begun rehearsing in the venue, led by director Alexander Wright.

The old pub now boasts new flooring, a new bar built to replicate that of the book’s setting almost 100 years ago in the prosperous West Egg on Lond Island in America.

The show’s design, by talented young Welsh designer Heledd Rees, brings a 1920s theme to more than a dozen rooms at the former hotel.

Audiences are invited to dress up for the show, or just sit at the bar and be absorbed into Gatsby’s world as one of the greatest stories of the 20th century unfolds. Dancing shoes are recommended, and dressing up 1920s style is encouraged – anything from flapper dresses to a pinstripe suit.

The show will take over every room in the building and by having it on for almost five weeks during February and March, Mr Smith believes The Great Gatsby will significantly support the regeneration of Mold town centre.

He also said he hopes it will give Theatr Clwyd a unique platform to reach local audiences in a new way.

Theatre bosses anticipate that the success of The Great Gatsby will lead to further collaborative activities between The Dolphin Hotel and Theatr Clwyd.

When the show ends, The Dolphin will be  extended and completely refurbished, while retaining its distinctive appearance on the High Street opposite St Mary’s Church.

Mr Davies, founder of Quad Architects, is  working with the full support of Visit Wales, CADW and Flintshire Council planning and conservation departments with a view to reinstate the historic venue as a destination hotel and restaurant in the town centre towards the end of 2019.

Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd’s executive director, said: “This partnership is another step in our aim to make Theatr Clwyd work with and for our community and to offer exciting, world class theatre experiences here in North East Wales.

“We’re really proud to be working with the new owners at The Dolphin as we play our part in helping to regenerate an historic building, and to deliver another successful Mold High Street business to complement all of the other independent local traders appearing within our town centre.”

The show will run from from Thursday, February 22 until Sunday, March 25.

Extra performances have been added to the schedule due to popular demand, and tickets are availabe online at www.theatrclwyd.com or by telephone on 01352 701521.