The rioting at Wimbledon Theatre moved into its third day yesterday, as physicists attending a pantomime continue to react angrily to a balloon gag that defied the laws of physics. ‘I like a joke as much as the next man, and I’m prepared to suspend disbelief for a night at the theatre,’ said physics lecturer Marek Banasiak, who had treated his students to a night at the theatre. ‘But when you see a man being handed a balloon, filled with air, and he subsequently begins to levitate, that really is beyond the pale of scientific feasibility.’
Students began booing at first, and witnesses say the barracking was mostly good natured. But the situation escalated when the illogical ‘air-lighter than air’ stunt was repeated. One student tried to get onstage and reason with a pantomime dame. Tensions were inflamed when his thoughtful arguments about comparitive buoyancy were dismissed by the dame, and the principal boy.
‘It all kicked off when we asserted that this occurrence was scientifically impossible. The dame kept shouting Oh-no-it-isn’t!’ If that wasn’t bad enough, she and the principal boy managed to rally the crowd round to their side,’ said a witness. It was at this stage that punches were exchanged, and pretty soon conical flasks and mercury filled thermometers were raining down on the stage.
Last night police were trying to calm tensions, and have promised to appoint an officer with an understanding of Boyle’s law and physical principles. In the meantime, the building has been surrounded with mounted policeman on pantomime horses, who at the sign of any more trouble will flutter their eyelids and dance the waltz.