'I'm really, really sorry,' says Wilson leaning back in his seat to whisper in my ear.
'It's fine,' I say. 'I love watching people with green faces singing about sorcery.' I pop another Minstrel into my mouth. 'As dates go, this one really takes the biscuit.'
I am sitting with Wilson and his niece in the fourth row of the Apollo theatre watching 'Wicked'. Originally it was meant to be Wilson and his sister accompanying five year old Milly but his sister has cunningly come down with flu so I've been lugged along instead.
I find musicals a baffling phenomenon what with the highly improbable story lines, relentless cheery singing and shameless heartstring jerking. Take this one's plotline so far; two young women with unlikely names are both studying sorcery at Shiz University; Galinda is a goody goody and determined to be the most popular girl in school, but Elphaba finds it hard to make friends (not entirely surprising given the Halloween-green face). Both fall in love with fellow student and Winkie prince Fiyero, before meeting the Wizard of Oz and teaching a monkey called Chistery to fly.
To add to the evening's discomfort, I've not exactly bonded with Milly who's sitting on the other side of Wilson, her arm thrust possessively through his. Every so often she peers around him, stares at me then says in a loud stage whisper 'What's she doing here?'
We're four songs in now and 'Defying Gravity' sees Elphaba using her considerable sorcery skills to enchant a broomstick. As she belts out what has to be the sickliest song so far, I find myself mulling over thoughts about make-up removal. Elphaba will need something pretty hardcore to get rid of that muck. I then wonder if starring in 'Wicked' has made her hate Halloween as much as I do. Or maybe she's a big fan which helped win her the role in the first place. Maybe she dresses up in her downtime, delighting her boyfriend with saucy green outfits and pointy black hats when he gets home from work.
'You like those Minstrels, don't you,' says Wilson digging me in the ribs.
'I need the strength,' I say, shoving the final one into my mouth. I nod at the stage. 'Please tell me you're not enjoying this.'
'Defying Gravity' has been going on for some time now and the combination of this infernal song, the lurid green stage backdrop and 170 grammes of Minstrels is making me feel pretty unwell. It's also extremely hot in here and my heart's beginning to hammer.
Not here, I say to myself. Please not here.
I take several deep breaths, and picture myself lying by a calm blue lake as far away as possible from Elphaba, Galinda and Shiz University. But it's not working. A wash of dizziness sweeps over me and I slump forward. The last thing I hear are the closing notes of 'Defying Gravity' and the sound of a forehead cracking against the seat in front.
To be continued next Friday...