Last night saw the annual Redbridge Mayor's charity pantomime at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford. The cast put on a stunning performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs complete with wonderful costumes, colourful sets and polished dance routines.
The company have a history of including gentle political digs during the evening and this was no exception. There were disparaging references to Arsenal Football Club and the town of Dagenham which I will not repeat here. Romford was also immortalised in popular song (to the tune of Barry Manilow's Copecobana)
At Romford, Romford Market,
If you take your car you can park it...
Then there was the obligatory ghost scene. Three men in a large, spooky bed and the Dame urges the audience to shout if they see anything Really Horrible. Cue the cries of IT'S BEHIND YOU !!
On this occasion the ghost appeared from a cupboard wearing a Gordon Brown mask. The audience all laughed, except for Labour members who looked as if they really had seen something frightening.
Once you are lampooned in panto there is no way back. This sort of humour is usually reserved for low grade celebrities, precisely because the audience is non political. The last time I saw it happen to a politician the target was David Blunkett, and he was gone in days...