The scene is set in the club and opens with a minute’s silence for a 19-year old victim of the Troubles. Cassie’s response is to try to forget about it:
Marie, will you hurry up getting that drink... This is going to be the wildest of wild nights.
For her mother Nora, the incident brings back memories of the death of Marie’s husband Michael.
Remember the first we knew of what happened to Michael was when they asked us to stand for him?
This leads to further reminiscences of Michael as Nora tells another of her stories – how her husband took money from Michael by persuading him to
bet on a dog that never was. Even though Michael lost his car as a result, Marie is not bitter. Cassie, however, refers mockingly to
the dear departed.
The tension between mother and daughter comes through when Nora rebukes Cassie for her revealing dress, while Cassie mocks Nora’s defence of her brother Martin as
a good boy saying
Our Martin was never too good at keeping his belt buckle fastened. Cassie has resented Nora’s favouritism since childhood,
Do you know you never put a plate in front of me before he had his?
Cassie then rebukes Marie for giving Deirdre clothes:
Marie, when will you stand up for yourself? You’re a mug
While Nora tells stories which they will all have heard before, Cassie, under the influence of drink, behaves in an increasingly wild manner. She insists on dancing, which greatly embarrasses Nora and Marie, and drags Marie up to dance.
It becomes clear that Cassie’s bravado conceals her low self-esteem,
Oh, I’m just bad Marie. She feels that she will “go crazy” when her husband comes back as she cannot stand him. Characteristically, Marie says
I won’t let you go crazy.
There is then a raid though this is only acted out in mime-
all the women freeze, legs apart, arms raised as if they’re being searched.
Deirdre reminds us that
the whole town’s a prison – in other words, both the men who are literally in prison and the women who are at home are left in their different ways, trapped.
As if to emphasise that such raids are part of the daily routine, conversation resumes afterwards. For example, Cassie mocks Marie's generosity to Deirdre, calling her Mother Teresa.
The climax of the scene comes when Cassie and Deirdre fight after Deirdre claims she saw Cassie in a car with a man.