Madejski’s magical 60th bash
May 01, 2001
IT was all so very John Madejski. Unconventional but stylish. Offbeat but cultured.
As we arrived at the Royals chairman’s 60th birthday party at Madejski Stadium on Saturday we were greeted by two stiltwalkers dressed as pink flamingoes.
This was clearly going to be no ordinary night.
The invitations had mysteriously billed the evening as a Circus of Dreams and as soon as we entered the champagne reception area we could see why.
Mr Madejski had flown in some of the world’s most exciting modern circus acts to entertain his guests.
Vibrantly dressed mime artists mingled with the 300 or so guests and bizarre characters kept popping up at your shoulder when you weren’t looking.
The dinner was wonderful. The table I had been placed on was a hoot, with fellow guests including Boyd Butler from the football club and Jane, the interior designer responsible for the Madejski Hotel’s modern look.
We hardly stopped laughing all evening – except when our jaws fell open at the
amazing acts taking place on the stage in front of us which ran through the centre of the hall like a catwalk.
I don’t think anyone will forget the
stunning contortionist from Mongolia. Eyes were watering at her performance.
After dinner a good old-fashioned rock band got everyone dancing into the wee hours.
And if the night summed up the many sides of Mr Madejski then so did the guest list.
There were diplomats, celebrities, old money, new money, and friends the multi-millionaire has known all his life.
Many people I spoke to told how they first met him when he worked as an advertising rep on the Evening Post many moons ago.
You got the impression he has so many old friends he could have invited twice the
number again and still not squeezed them all in.
And, in the spirit of a true Reading boy, he certainly knows how to give his friends a bloody good night out.