Liaison dangereuse

July 10, 1998

A conference of European liaison officers at Nottingham Trent University had an unusual after-dinner speech from Robert Ayres, the university's professor of the performing arts. Dressed in his pyjamas and recounting a dream he clambered on to the top table and successively emptied over both himself and the top table guests ice buckets of cornflakes, soap powder, walnuts and tomato ketchup.

As the guests were sponging themselves down, vice-chancellor Ray Cowell was heard to remark: "Haven't you experienced the performing arts before? They are ultimately self-destructive."

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