Fiesta

fiestaimageJACK:           I was one of the stewards, from the early days, a bouncer I turned up for the dance and a fellah I knew was there on the door.

BOUNCER:        Jack, do you want a job?

JACK:           Ach, no, I’m not interested in carrying no bottles.

BOUNCER:        I’m not asking you to carry bottles.

JACK:           And he hands me a dickie bow and that was that. I was sixteen. Sixteen and there’s me with a dickie bow, standing with the rest of them.

MUSIC PLAYS: LIMBO ROCK – THE AIRCHORDS. THE CHOREOGRAPHED BOUNCERS MOVE, INTERACTING WITH THE DANCERS. NO CLOSE DANCING, STOPPING THE ODD BIT OF TROUBLE, EJECTING A DRUNK.

MUSIC CUTS

JACK:           You might think that I was too young and I suppose I was. I was afraid when I got home for my father was waiting up for me.

FATHER:         And where have you been?

JACK:           I was working. At the Fiesta. I thought I was going to get a slap.

FATHER:         The Fiesta? The Fiesta? Did you get paid?

JACK:           And that was that. See the fellah who’d asked me was from the boxing club and I was the All Ireland champion. That was the thing, Leo never employed any of us. You got a job because you knew someone, either from the boxing club or the Mental. We all knew how to handle ourselves and we knew how to handle the odd fellah who thought he was Sonny Liston.

MUSIC STARTS AGAIN. SOME YOUNG BRAVE TRIES TO HAVE A POP AT JACK AND FINDS HIMSELF DOWN THE STEPS AND IN THE CAR PARK.

MUSIC CUTS.

JACK:           You’re barred, don’t be coming back. We were the ones who could bar any trouble makers and it was only you who was allowed to let them back in again. It was drink that was always the start of it.

A DRUNK STAGGERS BY

The Fiesta was a dry hall, they all were in them days, but the fellahs would sneak in a bottle and hide the empties in the toilets. We’d catch most of them and take the drink off them. If they were lucky they’d get it back at the end of the night. If they weren’t.

LEO:            Here Jack, where are the rest of the lads?

JACK:           No idea Leo. (TO THE AUDIENCE) I wouldn’t take a drink myself back then.

LEO:            Come here, follow me. The toilets.

LEO BECKONS AND THEY STAND ON A TOILET LOOKING OVER THE PARTITION. BOUNCERS ARE DRINKING A WEE NIP OF VODKA

LEO:            You’re all sacked, all of you.

JACK:           But we were like brothers, one out all out. And we did, the whole lot of us, just walked out of the place. We got halfway down the front steps and he comes running after us…

LEO:            Ah, now come on lads, lads…

JACK:           For didn’t he know he couldn’t run the place without us. They were some days back then. If you caused any trouble you were out on your ear. The car park was a different story, out there was none of our business. There were times when there’d be fights out there. Some one would bump into another, maybe words were said.

FIGHTER 1:      I’ll see you outside

FIGHTER 2:      Fifteen minutes.

THE FIGHTERS SHAKE HANDS. A RING OF PEOPLE FORM. THE GUNFIGHT AT THE OK FIESTA

MUSIC PLAYS: APACHE – THE INDIANS

WOMEN SCREAM

YOUNG FELLAH::  Watch out Billy, he’s got a red lemonade.

BILLY:          I’ll see your Red Lemonade and I’ll raise you a Football Special.

THEY DRAW, SHOOT AND ONE FALLS TO THE FLOOR. MORE SCREAMS.

MUSIC FADES

JACK:           Aye well it wasn’t quite like that. Marquis of Queensbury rules, straight up. If any of them tried anything dirty then half a dozen lads would pile in. When it were finished they’d shake hands.