One of the things that I have often said about my job is that, as a lawyer, you are at entirely the wrong end of any free things that are going. The law is a service industry and the competition to grab the best clients to (ahem) service is fierce. Moreover, there are far fewer people looking to attract business from lawyers than you might think. As a result, we tend to be the ones giving out free stuff, not receiving it.
For this reason the vast majority of the free events I have been to came about when I was able to tag along with Helen to something that she was going to. Not only were people often keen to try and get into the good books of the sort of companies that she worked for, but those companies were involved in a lot of high profile sponsorship of events which were all organised or partly organised by her department.
One of those events was a revival of the musical Anything Goes at the National Theatre. It was an entertaining show, but not a particularly memorable one (in fact, the bit I recall best was the collective intake of breath from audience and cast when one of the dancers landed rather heavily whilst doing the splits). Afterwards, I think that there was a sponsors’ dinner in a small dining room, but somehow we then ended up in one of the theatre bars, drinking with the cast of the show.
The lead role in that show was played by John Barrowman. At that time Barrowman was already a well known stage and television performer, but he was there in the bar chatting away with everyone else, just a completely down to earth guy. I remember him spending several minutes telling Helen of his love for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
I turned away for a moment at that point and when I looked back he was over Helen’s knee and she was spanking him!
It was, obviously, all in jest and very funny, but every time I see him on television I can’t help but remember what was one of the stranger things that I’ve ever witnessed. I just wish I knew what had provoked it.