(122-04-13) Sneak Preview

Amphitheatre - Whimsy Theatre Beacon Boulevard

The Theatre of Whimsical Dreams is a three-storey, open-air amphitheatre, approximately ninety-eight feet in diameter, which can house some two thousand spectators. At the base of the stage, there is an area called the yard, where, for three pennies, groundlings stand on the rush-strewn earthen floor to watch the performance. Vertically around the yard are the three levels of the gallery, with more expensive stadium-style seats.

A rectangular apron-stage platform thrusts out into the middle of the open-air yard. The stage measures approximately forty feet in width, twenty-four feet in depth and is raised about seven feet off the ground. On this stage, there is a trap door for use by performers to enter from the cellarage area beneath.

The back wall of the stage has two doors on the main level, with a curtained inner stage in the center and a balcony above it. The doors enter into the tiring house where the actors dress and await their entrances. The balcony above houses the musicians and can also be used for scenes requiring an upper space. Above the balcony is the apex, which has windows and a battlement-style walk.

Large columns on either side of the stage support a roof over the rear portion of the stage. The ceiling under this roof is called the heavens, and is painted with clouds and the sky. A trap door in the heavens enables performers to descend using a rope and harness. The rest of the theater is crisscrossed with wooden support beams, over which a white oilcloth can be stretched to keep out the rain, and also provide a reflective surface to help light the theater.

The rehearsal is in full swing at the Whimsy with six people presently on stage. Among them the leading lady, a young buxomy blonde, singing a rather dramatic woe-is-me ballad, accompanied by three musicians on drums, pipe and fiddle. Also present on stage are two young men wearing gaudy striped outfits similiar to that Loryn is wearing. The impresario is not performing just now, though, he stands to the side, watching with crossed arms. Beside him on a table is an empty plate, a few leftover crumbs all that's left of the raspberry cream cake.

Lady Marsei and her two attendants for the day have entered as unobtrusively as they could, all but tiptoeing through the Whimsy; Marsei doesn't want to interrupt the rehearsal with her presence, rare and richly attired guest that she is. All eyes are on the stage and its star. Marsei is immediately engaged by the performance, woeful though it is, slowing some distance behind Loryn to watch before remembering to whisk closer. She looks at him carefully, making sure it is, in fact, the Tyrell and not another man in a funny outfit. "How wonderfully dramatic," she tells him in a hushed voice. "Thank you again for letting us peek in."

Nothing goes unnoticed by the leading lady, certainly not a pretty young woman - or three pretty young women. "Who are these people and why are they interrupting?", she demands to know, hands on hips, eyeballing the visitors. Loryn quickly lifts his hands to shut her up, before introducing loudly and pointedly "This is Lady Marsei Hightower, who I have invited to join us here today." This at least makes the young blonde offer a half-hearted little curtsey, while her musicians bow. "This is Miss Tarya, she is our finest singer and star of our new play.", he then introduces the leading lady, "Tarya, why don't you sing your big ballad from our play for the ladies?"

"I didn't wish to interrupt, Miss Tarya," Marsei says cheerfully, her characteristic tone of both polite and utterly genuine; she smiles benevolently upward at the leading lady, eyes bright. "I shouldn't like to interrupt your singing, it's so lovely." She glances, too, to the musicians. "All of you are so talented. Ser Loryn has been kind, allowing us to watch you rehearse." Siva and the blonde handmaid also smile and nod politely, the latter looking a bit starry-eyed, though perhaps not so much as her lady, who encourages, "Oh, can we? Can we hear the ballad?"

Tarya clearly enjoys the compliments and the attention and happily agrees to the suggestion of performing her big ballad. Loryn nods to the musicians who lift their instruments and begin to play a soaring melody. Soon enough Tarya begins to sing, a beautiful song about having finally found her way out of the darkness, knowing what to do and saving the world in the process. As one does. In the meantime Loryn slinks off to return with a tray on which three cups of wine for Marsei and her companions stand, offering them quietly so as not to disturb the prickly singer.

Regardless of the singer's thorns, Marsei is enthralled by the song, caught up in the beauty and the dramatic optimism of the lyrics; so much so that she requires a gentle reminder from Siva to alert her that Loryn is offering her wine. She takes it courteously, with a grateful smile, as they all do. "It's not that I want to look away," she says after a spell, keeping her voice soft and quiet to fly under the attention of Tarya, "but I'm rather frightened she'll notice if I do."

Tarya brings the song to a dramatic close that ends on a high glass-shattering note. She then bows to accept the bows that are her due, pretending to be all humble. "Would you like to see a dance as well, Lady Marsei?", Loryn asks politely, "There is a rather funny number set among the villagers where our heroine is from. Not all cast members are here for it, but it would give you an idea at least."

Although Marsei tensed, slightly overwhelmed by the sheer noise level Tarya has reached by the end, she gives her eager applause. Once her accolades for the performance comes to an end, she looks to Loryn. "I do love dance! I'd be happy to watch any part of it," she says, "but I also shouldn't like to disrupt the flow of things; they could go on just as the would without me here, and I'd be just as pleased."

"Oh, they are so happy to show off their skills.", Loryn assures her with a smile and claps his hands loudly to get some attention from the people loitering about. Tarya is invited to take a little break after her powerful demonstration, while the dancers - some in gaudy costumes, but two also in rather plain garb - assemble on stage. Two spotty boys, stage hands, perhaps, bring chairs for Marsei and her companions to sit down in at the side of the stage. "If you'll excuse me…", Loryn says, grinning a little, "My character is part of the dance as well and I would hate for you to miss out on a chance to tease me later…" And then the musicians begin to play again, and the dancers dance, including the young Tyrell who does a fairly good job, high heels and all. The choreography seems to have been drawn from a typical down to earth village dance with plenty of stomping and hand-clapping.

"Oh!" Marsei is surprised and amused by Loryn being part of the dance and rushing off — the surprised, slightly silly expression remains on her face all the while she's settled into her chair, handmaidens, with their matching dresses, on either side. Entertained, she laughs and claps here and there; when she's not clapping, her hands clasp neatly in front of her in a kind of polite anticipation for every turn.

The jaunty dance soon reaches its end and the slightly breathless dancers take their bows for Marsei and her handmaidens - including Loryn, who comes back to join the ladies while otherss mill about the stage now, preparing to return to their regular rehearsals for the planned variety evening. A minstrel dressed in rather exotic garb - the Summer Isles maybe? - is now moving in to pluck his curiously shaped lute, warming up. "Well, I hope you have been enjoying these little examples of our work here.", Loryn smiles, "We'd be honored to see you at the actual performance as well…"

"Well done!" Marsei commends, her hands — wine glass and all — cheerily clutched beneath her chin.

"I quite agree!" adds her younger companion, while the other smiles but remains quiet.

"It's been a treat, Ser Loryn, thank you," the Hightower goes on. "I'd love to see the real thing, when it's on, and I will be sure to tell everyone who hasn't yet had the delight of a visit." On the verge of more words — undoubtedly as polite as the last — she's distratced by the bright garb on stage but, specifically, the instrument, which she gives a curious look but decides not to ask over.

The instrument makes a rather loud twangggg! but once the minstrel begins playing, it does actual sound rather good, in an exotic way. "Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it.", Loryn replies to Marsei with a smile, "I have also spoken to Madrighal and he is happy to play at a little party at Garden Isle to offer some glimpses of the play to our guests. Of course you have already had your first exclusive preview now, Mylady.", he winks.

"Oh?…" Marsei seems quite removed from Loryn's wink, still thinking curiously about the Dornish minstrel Madhrigal who she's never confirmed she knew a thing about or not. She comes back around with a smile. "It sounds like the party will be quite a treat as well, then," she says kindly, adding a good-natured tease, "If you are not too careful, Ser Loryn, you will spoil all your guests before it's time for the play." By her charmed look to the stage, though, she doesn't mean it; at least she's not likely to tire of the entertainment. "Well, I suppose we should start back home and let the Whimsy carry on as usual."

"Well, I hope it shall serve an appetizer… whetting people's appetites for the actual performance, so they shall buy tickets for it.", Loryn explains his thinking. When Marsei announces her intention to leave, he nods and takes a step back to give her more space. "Thank you for coming, Mylady, I'm glad that you enjoyed your little glimpse into showbusiness. Do let me know when you decide to tread the boards yourself."

Marsei and her company rise, the handmaids quick to fall into precise place at her sides, slightly behind. They curtsy to the Whimsical knight. Marsei is caught by Loryn's comment just as she's looking about to someone to hand her wine glass off to; she smiles, looking down. "Oh, they'll remain untreaded by me," she says humbly. She glances to her blonde attendant and says, kindly but hesitant about the subject, "And we shall see what is in store for you." She gives Loryn another wide smile and starts to head on her way. "Enjoy the rest of your rehearsal," she delivers sweetly by way of departure.

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