Madame Tussaud’s

November 23, 2007

I went to a work jolly at Madame Tussaud’s last night. It was really good fun, and a nice chance to catch up with various colleagues.

It was all a bit surreal, though. The evening started off with an tour through an animatronic display of the “spirit of London”, which was all beefeaters, the blitz and Good Queen Bess. It ended, totally incongruously, with a waxwork of Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Madame Tussaud’s, Private Eye favourite and well-known conspiracy theorist. Quite how he embodies the spirit of London is anyone’s guess, but he clearly believes this to be the case.

This surreal edge tot he evening was heightened by the dining room, in which we were encircled by various world leaders. I had, rather alarmingly, Ronald Reagan and Adolf Hitler directly behind my table. On the opposite wall there was a rogues gallery of Castro, Mugabe, Qaddafi,  Saddam Hussein… and Richard Branson. Now I’m no fan of the smug bearded one, but I hardly think he counts as one of recent history’s greatest monsters, either. Maybe this was a sly dig on the part of Al Fayed at a prominent business rival?

The evening ended with a tour through the chamber of horrors, featuring genuinely disconcerting waxworks of the likes of Dr Crippen. Then it was out and back to the extremely prosaic reality of the Euston Rd, and home to bed.

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