Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hotel bar...

So, I had this idea for a caper set in a hotel bar. A short play. And I was in Leeds, with two hours to spare. So I went to Eddie Waring's old haunt, The Queens, and wrote it there. I wasn't looking my best - a sort of Larry David number; trainers, jeans, New York Rangers t-shirt topped off with a 'sports jacket' - because this was M's day, and today she was the smartly dressed one. I strode confidently up the red carpet The Queens insists on securing to the steps in front of its main entrance, nodded at the concierge, and found myself stood in the lobby. There were no clues to the whereabouts of the bar so I decided to ask for them. "Where's the bar?" I mumbled to a woman putting together a promotional display about the hotel's beds - a display that included a hotel bed. She suggested, having looked at me and my Larry David get-up, that there wasn't a public bar available to the likes of me. "There's a pub in the station," she said, ushering me along. I know there's a pub in the station. It's a Wetherspoons. Good prices and good company if you like old gents with bulbous red noses but not a place to write a caper set in a hotel bar. Then she spotted the NY Rangers t-shirt, which proved to be my passport to the high life waiting just around the corner. "My husband is a big New York Rangers fan," she said, rather too proudly given their recent and last day, end of season defeat that kept them out of the Stanley Cup play-offs, with no suggestion that she wanted to get me into the promotional bed that was located in full view of anyone that ventured into the lobby. "It's a nice t-shirt, where did you get it?" The Rangers chat went on for some brief minutes with obvious nonsense about online stores and a lack of forechecking until whatever test I was being asked to pass, I eventually passed. "I was just looking for somewhere to do some work for a couple of hours," I said, thinking of alternative bars I could go to, not realising what was within very easy reach and was now mine. "Well, why not go through those doors, order a drink and take a seat?" And, lo and behold, I had entered the bar that was not available to the public, although very obviously was, because while I was sat there all shapes, sizes and sorts of public wandered through, some of them just sitting down and not even ordering a f*cking thing. Mainly, these were rude business types of the kind that believe they can commandeer tables to enable them to unfurl printouts of their Excel spreadsheets before talking very loudly about stakeholder engagement, regeneration and other such contemporary babble. But occasionally there was the odd writer sort looking for a place to hide, watch, drink and work.

No comments: