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9:51am on Saturday, 9th September, 2006:

Where Next?


On Saturdays in The Independent, there's an interview on the back page of the Traveller section called "My Life in Travel". In this, they ask a series of questions to some vaguely famous person (usually one who has a book, film, play, exhibition or new job to be mentioned). Today's subject was Joanna David, wife of Edward Fox and mother of Emilia Fox, who's about to appear in a West End play.

Here are the last 3 questions and her answers:

The first two of these are just so you get an idea of what the Q&A goes like. It's the final one that caused me to raise an eyebrow, though.

So let me get this straight. She'd love to go to Peru, in particular Machu Picchu: fair enough, so would many people, myself included. It's that "for the Unicorn Theatre for Children" that baffles me. I'm sure the Unicorn Theatre for Children is a thoroughly worthy cause (despite the disturbing picture on its home page), but it seems to me that Joanna David wants to go to Peru for herself, not for the charity. How would going there aid the charity anyway — people will happily sponsor her to go somewhere she particularly wants to visit? Assuming she's paying her own way (because otherwise it would just be an out-and-out scam to get a free holiday), what makes it a charity trip in any case, except her say-so? Machu Picchu has no obvious connection with children's theatre. Does she associate all her trips to exotic places with charities? Maybe it's simply to publicise the charity, and there's no money involved at all?

I'm sure there's some well-defined system of private or corporate sponsorship involved here, but really, if you want to give money to a children's theatre, just do it. Don't wait until a 59-year-old actress goes to Machu Picchu first.

Referenced by A Different World.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).