Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Celebrity stalking

"It's behind you"..or at least it should be.

We trotted off to the local panto on Sunday - Peter Pan flew in.  This particular amateur company of thespians have been putting on panto for 51 years.  That's an awful lot of Dames.  There was enough of us to fill up an entire row.  It is a miracle of the modern age that even with an amateur production the tickets had been booked on line, and that was fortunate as there was so many of us.  I'm always in two minds about this strange British tradition, but one thing you can't deny is the enthusiasm of the audience for corny.  Really corny. jokes.  Nor can you deny the enthusiasm with which the cast delivers some pretty awful lines, sings with all their heart and soul and perform with a woodeness that would be better applied to the tumbling scenery.  I had woken up curmudgeonly, but got swept along by the whole thing.  Perhaps it was remembering my days treading the planks under the guidance of Chris Timothy, including a stint as Genie of the Ring in Aladin, but whatever, it was fun.  And not "Two and a half hours of your life you'll never get back" according to one of our number.  "Oh yes it was".  "Oh no it wasn't".  "Oh yes it was". "Oh no it wasn't". Etc, etc

I was out on the town towards the end of last year (and I may have mentioned this already) with a couple of my friends.  The Cat's Mother remained at home with a temperature.  Unbeknownst to me, we were spotted by some friends of The Cat's Mother, and it transpires there was much discussion amongst the friends about WHY was I out without her, was I playing hookie, and should they dump my pizza in my lap.  I may have been drunk, but evidently well-enough behaved to avoid pizza-in-lap punishment.  A few days later they passed me in the Homebase car park and I missed them waving and shouting hello.  Unobservant may be my middle name.  It was getting beyond an an odd coincidence then that we bumped into their parents in a pub in Waterloo...the Anchor and Hope (it may be called the Hope and Anchor...I can never remember) which serves some particularly fine food.  So clearly they're following me and keeping a watch on my movements.

It seems that I am the victim of a different stalking.  After all it has to be more than a coincidence when you bump into someone half way up a mountain in Switzerland, and then again in a darkened auditorium in Waterloo.  Really I don't know what to do about it.  I know that celebrities are not what they used to be..after fancy Anthony Worral Thompson getting caught shoplifting in Tescos....what's wrong with Fortnum's or Harvey Nicholls for heavens sake?   There we were celebrating UP's birthday at a performance of Noises Off, and I spotted him skulking a few rows behind us.  His cover was simple, but I saw through it.  He was there with his teenage children...but had failed to bring his wife.  And who on earth would take teenagers to see a farce that had seen its best days a couple of decades ago?  I guess he recognises that he may also have had his best days - after all did you watch the Top Gear Indian special over Christmas?  Yes, it was poor, so no wonder Jeremy Clarkson is looking for inspiration.  I realise I'm that sort of guy.  Just along the row from him was Babs Windsor, so she must have heard as well.  I'm not sure what can offer her that Sid James didn't already.