Reviewed by Stella Young
Dirty Dancing? NOBODY puts Baby in a corner! I carried a watermelon… We’ve all seen the movie, at the cinema, on VHS, on DVD, like a hundred times, I’ve seen the stage show twice, having travelled to London to see it, and then also when it was touring at Edinburgh Playhouse. So when the opportunity came up to attend a Dirty Dancing Masterclass, I was like try and stop me, someone get me a watermelon!
We arrived at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, where we were greeted by staff from the Edinburgh Playhouse. We were ushered through to one of the dance studios, where we were invited to have tea or coffee and a selection of biscuits.
Once everyone had arrived, we were introduced a producer of the show, Karl Sydow, one of the people responsible for bringing Dirty Dancing from our screens on to the stage. Being such a huge iconic blockbuster movie, indeed it was a huge challenge to tell the same story on stage as we’ve seen on screens so many times. But in 2004 that is the task that Karl Sydow took onboard, after seeking expert advice from his daughter! Was this a good idea he asked her, thankfully his daughter said yes and the transformation to stage show began. His talk was both informative and amusing, which lead up nicely to be showing a clip with some of the dancing from the show.
We were then invited to join the choreographer and a couple of the cast members in the dance studio next door, where we were told that joining in with the dancing was compulsory! We were treated to a display of some Dirty Dancing from cast members Lisa and Michael, who were just amazing to watch as they performed some classic Dirty Dancing moves and grooves. *Gulp* I hope they are not going to expect us to do that, my body just doesn’t bend or move like that.
We changed in to our dancing shoes, fortunately the routines we were to perform were a bit less ambitious than displayed by the professional dancers. We were shown basic cha cha cha moves, then some hip popping, and hand movements, “dance like nobody is watching you” was the instruction from the choreographer! Thankfully tucked away at the back of the class, this wasn’t too hard. We were then split in to two groups to perform our newly learnt routines in competition against each other. Diplomatically, the dance off was declared a draw!
After we caught our breath, we returned to the first dance studio, where a lovely lunch of sandwiches and fresh fruit had been laid out for us.
So while I don’t think myself and my companion will be auditioning as potential cast members (unless they need anybody just to carry a watermelon), it did put us absolutely in the mood of seeing the show again, even though we’ve both seen the show twice before. The show is a fabulous girls day or night out, one that all generations can enjoy, even those born after the movie was released in 1987.
Thoroughly entertaining afternoon.
Dirty Dancing will be showing at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 24 February to 14 March 2015. Tickets cost from £23.90 to £79.90 (plus £4 transaction fee). Tickets are available NOW!
For more information or to book your tickets click here or telephone the booking office on 0844 871 3014, for group bookings telephone 0844 871 3034.