Before and after The Nutcracker, the news. In Katowice, Poland, David Attenborough tells the urgency of addressing Climate Change at a UN conference.
A radio 4 voice warns of the 'obese crisity' (sic). The obese crisity is hotting-up in The Nutcracker audience.
In the theatre it's slurp and burp close in our ears. Kids and parents, the audience is stuffing itself and only Tchaikovsky's impassioned music muffles the ambient noise. Here come the dances of the sweets and the sickly-sweetie sensation is all around, the smell of food, the slosh of drinks the rustle of discarded wrappings. If the sugar plum fairy likes sugar she has danced it off. The young woman in front of me has not, and she spills out over two seats. She has no perceptible shape.
Shakespeare's crowd hasn't heard of the obese crisity. They would frolic home under the stars and on a bright and frosty December morning they'd hurry to school in a glow of sunrise. Apprentices to work. And if they ate throughout a performance it wasn't sugar. Yes I know Falstaff, Sir John slurp and burp, Sir John sack and sugar. He's the lone glutton amongst Prince Hal's companions. Gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins. Whether or not we see it as sinful let's concede it is disabling and deadly.
Francis and I are surrounded by incessant snacking. This isn't helping the fight against Climate Change, he remarks. No, nor the obese crisity.
Next morning, 2 December The Guardian. Michael Savage reports on a speech from Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector for Schools. The obesity crisis is best handled in the home. Responsibility lies first with parents.