• Mariel Lettier

Nobody puts Baby in a corner, except for the Scottish

Dirty Dancing, Edinburgh Playhouse, theater, theatre

One-hundred and twenty days after getting my ticket, I hop on a plane. I can’t remember much of the flight except for my anxiety and excitement. I spent most of the daylight time looking out my window and I thought the in-flight food was good despite the general world consensus on the matter. I must’ve watched a movie and/or read a book, but I can’t even remember if I had a little screen for myself or there were just big ones up top.

Ana is waiting for me on the other side. We land, I take a bus and get off close to where a car housing Ana and driven by one of the B&B owners is expecting me. The airport itself is no big deal but I can hear English all around me. Finally! From the double-decker bus (where I sadly sit on the bottom floor due to my suitcase), old and quaint houses come into view, and I have to struggle to stay focused and not miss my stop. I’ve made it.

The amazing place where we stayed.

I haven’t slept a wink during my nearly 24-hour adventure (which included three flights with luckily short layovers) but I’m as awake as can be. I settle quickly into our room. We speak excitedly about our plans, I think I shower, but there is no time for much else. We have to set off to the Edinburgh Playhouse because we have tickets to Dirty Dancing just a few hours after my arrival. I feel like I am in a dream. I don’t really have time to take in much of the town, but I am definitely able to take in its people.

St. Giles, Edinburgh, Royal Mile
I can say this picture of St. Giles is blurry on purpose or that I'm just too excited to focus.

We take the bus and walk down to Leith St. We show our tickets and find our seats. I go through the ritual of using the toilet even though I haven’t drunk a thing. There is a buzz in the air. There is a bar serving drinks and also ushers selling ice-cream. While there is wine in some of Uruguay’s most important theaters, ice-cream is definitely not even an after-thought in them. We comment on it. Dressed-up people are drinking and chatting around us. Suddenly, the lights dim, the crowd goes silent, and the musical begins.

Dirty Dancing, Edinburgh Playhouse, theater, theatre
Kicking off.

This silence is short-lived because Scottish audiences are nothing if not invested in the story unfolding before them. The woman behind Ana got a nice buzz from the wine and is singing along to every song. Almost the entire audience seems to have memorized the film and gets slightly ahead of every song. The reactions are so over-the-top and incredible, the leading lady can no longer focus and just lets out a laugh after trying very hard not to. It was an “oh”, or maybe an “ah”, just before something intense actually happened on stage. The play was fantastic, but we enjoyed the company so much more. We leave the theater in a daze. I have my very first fish and chips on the sidewalk across the street while we talk excitedly about the experience. I’m home.

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