Wednesday 6 January 1988

…I have a new wardrobe in my room.
Well, actually it’s more a kind of wardrobe/cupboard/shelf/draw/unit type thing.
Spent much of the day deciding what to put in it and where.
Tried to ring Mum at work but the switchboard woman put me through to a complete
stranger, the silly fool.
Tried to make a cake but it turned into a sloppy mess that looked like sick.
My sister’s Brownie group went to a panto and for some reason families could
go as well, so we were all dragged along.

It was around this time that I took against pantomimes. I became increasingly annoyed, not to say a little alarmed, at their Nuremberg rally-esque undertones: crowds whipped into hysteria by tinpot figures strutting about on a stage, thousands encouraged to idolise one person and despise another, and worse of all the audience participation. I became terrified at the mere likelihood of someone roaming around the auditorium looking for “volunteers” (itself a contradiction in terms). I hated seeing others brought up on to the stage, even if they appeared to be enjoying themselves. And I loathed, absolutely loathed, the way the “volunteers” would then be alternately patronised and ridiculed in front of everyone, the harsh theatre lights illuminating their every wince and tear.

Many of these attitudes were soon transferred over to life in general – but that’s adolescence for you, and something best left under the tarpaulin.

One thought on “Wednesday 6 January 1988

  1. Cannon & Ball abruptly curtailed my enjoyment of pantomimes in the early 80’s. The last grisly half-hour is forever seared upon my soul. as we were ordered to stand up and shout “Rock on Tommy” at least every twenty seconds. Everyone spent the coach journey home raving about what a fantastic experience it all was, whilst I just remember bursting for a pee. Bill Maynard on the other hand was great.

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