Town mouse visits the opera

I don’t know what effect Saturday’s anti-cuts demonstration will have on Government policy, but it made it difficult to get my middle son Johnny to Bermondsey for a paintballing party. We waited for 15 minutes as a feeder march streamed past Waterloo station, the banners proclaiming an unlikely alliance between the South American Women’s Service (Googling it produces dating agencies) and the Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum.

Still, the thought that Trafalgar Square might have been turned, as some claimed, into Tahrir Square awakened us to the topicality of another story of Egyptian turmoil. We saw Aida at the Royal Opera House.

Verdi and the Middle East: perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised, given this pairing, that the ballet was choreographed like a bunga bunga party (it was supposedly the Libyan President, Col Gaddafi, who introduced the phrase to Silvio Berlusconi).

Hearing what might be in store, my 10-year-old son Charlie said he would read Oliver Twist on his iPod whenever nudity occurred. It was, in every other way, a splendid evening, and if only someone I won’t say whom-hadn’t trodden on my glasses in his anxiety to arrive on time, I would have seen more of it. Worse might have happened, I daresay, if I’d been walking past The Ritz.