Sheffield’s legendary Fiesta club was renowned for its show-stopping acts in the 1970s.
A recently published book chronicling its life is proving it can still turn heads, nearly 35 years after the venue shut.
British actor Mick Walter, who played Large Jack in Black Adder and has appeared in Emmerdale and Shameless in more recent years, was so engrossed in ‘No Siesta ’Til Club Fiesta whilst in rehearsals for There’s No Place Like A Home at The Mill at Sonning Theatre he was told off by the director for “not paying attention”.
Author Neil Anderson, who penned the book about the rise and fall of the luxury cabaret venue that staged performances by everyone from the Jackson 5 to the Beach Boys and lots of others who weren’t quite as big, said: “I count that as high praise indeed – I just hope it didn’t disrupt things too much!
“My book on the Fiesta has been one of the biggest projects I’ve ever undertaken and the response so far has been brilliant.” No Siesta ’Til Club Fiesta has also attracted critical acclaim.
Michael Glover, London-based arts critic for the Independent, said: “What pleases so much about this story of the rise and fall of Sheffield’s Fiesta Club in the 1970s is the wonderful attention to detail, from the interview with the car park attendant to photographs of entry tickets.
“We see the growth of an extraordinary 1970s entertainment scene in a major provincial city as if from the inside, through a wealth of local stories and a marvellously rich collection of vintage snaps, from Les Dawson to Gene Pitney and Tommy Cooper. They’re all in here, jigging the night away.”
News of the book even came to the attention of one of the most popular acts to perform at the venue – hypnotist Martin St James who did scores of gigs there and wrote the book’s foreword.
He said: “It was a great honour to be asked to write the foreword. The Fiesta seemed to be my second home for much of the seventies – I never seemed to be away from the place and it was fantastic that public demand for my act was so high. It’s fair to say there was really little to compare with the Fiesta in England at the time. The audiences were always appreciative; the staff courteous and great fun and the star dressing room was one of the best I’ve been in.”