Letter from Natalie

Letter from Natalie

We're recent acquaintances - you could say that our first meeting was a Valentine’s Day blind date. The date was certainly more enjoyable and entertaining than other dates I’ve been on. 

  

Having tumbled out of the airport bus at Waverley Bridge, a bit travel-rumpled and disorientated from the stop-start of Edinburgh rush-hour traffic, I meet up with not-seen-often-enough friends for a much anticipated evening with you. After a pre-theatre dinner in a pub buzzing with the noise of good company and good food, we pocket the after-dinner drumstick lollies we’ve been given by the friendly waitress and step out onto the damp pavement.  The short walk to Grindlay Street, where the illuminated playbill,  giving a hint of what is in store,  takes us towards the crowd gathering outside your front doors. 

  

A pause to collect my ticket - that small paper rectangle of pleasing weight - grants admission to the auditorium and another world.  Your plush seats are welcoming, the gilt of the proscenium and velvet curtains promising something different from the usual of day-to-day life. I look up, and blimey, I see your ceiling for the first time.   The glitter of that chandelier, with the light expanding out, illuminating the brilliant blue and gold - what a ceiling! Our fellow audience members chatter amongst themselves, catching up, talking about how their day has gone. Then the show starts, the cast approaching the stage armed with mops and other cleaning tools. We are transported - we laugh, we are moved, we sing a long (in our heads), - I sneak a sideways glance at my friends, they are laughing and captivated, so all is good.   

  

At the interval, we have a half-time show debrief whilst tucking into our drumsticks and ice cream. Your house lights dim, and we are transported back to a sort of Regency world.  The show ends with a rousing finale,  confetti flying, the audience on their feet, applauding, cheering. We file out with everyone, laughing and chatting about the show,  and enjoy a few post-show drinks in your bar, with images of past triumphs on the walls and tables. We see the cast emerge, greeting friends and family, chatting with each other. It gets late and taking a cue from the gilded swans, we step out into the swirling night air. We say our farewells with a hug and a promise for another weekend visit, who knew that those hugs would be numbered? -  and head our separate ways. Not a bad evening, eh? 

  

Any now Lyceum, your lights are dimmed and all within is quiet, resting, waiting,  but I’ll be ready when you awake to go on a second date with you.      

Natalie Wong

Tags: From Audience