|To Make a Dragon-Taming Princess|
|Summary:||Orsino Flowers makes himself and his costuming talents known at the Whimsy|
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 Whimsy is enjoying a moment of quiet between the end of the matinee and the preparations for the bigger evening show. From outside the voice of a sole minstrel can be heard, entertaining those who have filed out of the amphitheatre on the small stage outside. A few stage hands are milling about in a corner, playing dice.
Theatre impresario, leading man and (it is whispered) new heir to Highgarden Loryn Tyrell is sitting at a table that usually serves as a theatre prop on teh stage. He's eating a strange new thing that looks like round flatbread with an assortment of chopped vegetables, cheese and herbs on top.
Sal fits in with the atmosphere of the Whimsy quite well — in fact, she'd be a bit of a strange sight anywhere else, clad in a clean white tunic cinched with a woven leather belt, forest green hosiery of a relatively good make, and a red half-mask made of fabric. Presently, she has the latter shoved up on top of her head, and rather than entertaining the lingering patrons, she's conquering the stage hands at dice. There's a sudden roar of laughter as well as a cacophony of shouts, most of them accusing the quick-handed juggler of cheating, and she strolls away, toward Loryn, a smug grin spread across her face. Most of the accusations are good-natured … although perhaps not entirely joking. She's naturally ingratiated herself with some of the cast and crew of the theatre since she started juggling here; even though she pointedly kept to herself at first, it didn't last. She's a friendly soul, beneath her temper.
Orsino may be dressed finely, but he wears no house colors and trails no servants behind him. Today, the tailor has added a matching cloak to his ensemble, edges chased in the same fine gold embroidery that is to be found on his doublet. He looks up at the building as he approaches, and nods at an acquaintance passing out of the theater as he moves inside. Though he's not met that noble impresario, he seems to understand who he should be looking for, and approaches the man at his meal. "I find you over supper," he observes. "Forgive me for intruding." But his smile suggests he intends to continue the intrusion, if politely. Dice-shouting seems not to disturb him.
It's not really clear if Loryn paid attention to the dice players and the altercation or if he was lost in his own thoughts. But when Sal strolls over, he offers her a smile and a nod, inviting her to join him and even avail herself of a piece of that strange flatbread with toppings. But before he can even greet her, someone else is entering the theatre. The fine clothes make him stare for a moment, but Loryn does manage a smile. "Not a problem, my good man. You seem to know who I am…?" His voice rises towards the end, turning the statement into some sort of question as to the visitor's identity.
Sal obliges and leans up against a corner of the stage table — at the Whimsy, and outside of it, to be fair, as evidenced in the past, she seems unconcerned with the lofty title of its owner and rumours of his social climb. She's more interested in his food; what luck. She grabs a piece to examine, and winds up inelegantly holding it up over her head and peering at the bottom of the flat bread while Loryn greets the newcomer. She eyes Orsino with the same curious suspicion that she gives the food, as it happens, but ultimately deems both of them tentatively unthreatening. The bread-vegetable-cheese concoction goes down her gullet while she casually eavesdrops on the men.
"Unless I'm mistaken," Orsino replies to Loryn, moustache accentuating the gentle curve of a smile. "I believe you to be Ser Loryn Tyrell, which would make you the proprietor, as it were. "I've been hearing more and more these days from my customers about the delight with which they take in your performances and realized that i've been neglecting doing the same." He gives a polite smile and nod to Sal as well as she looks at him. "Good afternoon."
Loryn seems content with the woman busying herself with food. He can focus his entire attention on Orsino that way, offering the man a smile. "Ah, if you would like to enjoy one of our shows, you are most certainly welcome. The remaining tickets for the grounds - standing room - will be sold an hour before the performance. Iwould recommend to join the queue outside.", he suggests politely. Obviously he's not selling tickets. Or sharing his flatbread with just anyone who walks in.
Downing the last bite of her food, Sal simply gives Orsino an acknowledging nod of her chin: enough to skirt the vaguest edges of politeness, but quick, dismissive. Not of him; of her. She's a nobody, he's here for lord fancypants. She has the look of being constantly alert, never quite sitting still — or down at all. She has a constant ear out for the minstrel, for if he stops, she'll take over.
"I think I'll do that," Orsino says placidly. "But I wondered also if I could inquire as to who you have your costumes from." Perhaps he already knows, perhaps he doesn't. but it is a good guess from his expression that he intends to offer himself as a candidate for the same position." He doesn't look offended by Sal's aloof greeting, though he does ask, "Is this one of your performers? My name is Orsino Flowers, the tailor from Kettlebelly Lane. It's my pleasure to meet you both."
At last a name is forthcoming and Loryn's smile warms a little. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr Flowers.", he says politely taking note of the name, so common across the Reach, "I cannot say that I have heard your name, but if these clothes are a sample of your work -" He nods towards the man's own clothing, "I can see you do your profession pride. We have a few seamstresses in our pay", he continues thoughtfully, "Clothes for leading parts and for noble roles desire a better craft than the chorus or peasant roles." Which is basically the same for him. He seems to hesitate, the obvious question on his lips, but then changes the subject - somewhat. "This is Sal, she is a … freelancer, not part of the Whimsy Company. She's terrific at handling balls."
The reveal that Orsino is a tailor is not exactly a revelation — Sal gives him dawning look now, from top to bottom, gold-detailed doublet to moustache, seeing it — but it does pique her interest. Upon her introduction by Loryn, she winks once at Orsino, produces two small juggling balls from … ostensibly a pouch at her belt, though she certainly sells the illusion of them coming from nowhere, and gives them a few artful tosses from one hand to the other. So artful, in fact, it can't be a mistake when one sails toward Loryn's head. "Whoops," she feigns. "Must've freelanced straight out've my control."
Orsino makes a little bow to Loryn as they finalize the introduction. "The shop belonged to my mother before it did to me, and though she's been gone for some time, some people still think of it as hers, if they know it at all," he replies on the subject of his lack of notoriety here. "No doubt your seamstresses are skilled, my lord," he says. "But I have heard that the Whimsy is rather above the level of ordinary itinerant players. For leading parts, even better than good craft, I should think, would be spectacular design." He flashes teeth at Sal's introduction, watching the sample of the woman's dexterity. "To enhance the spectacle of fine players. Perhaps we might have the opportunity to collaborate on a piece or two for a hero or heroine of an upcoming show."
Loryn is not so distracted by Orsino's splendid outfit that he doesn't see the ball making its way towards his head. He ducks and the ball goes flying into the stage sets that are piled up beside the part of the stage that is visible to the audience. There might be a quiet "tsk!" heard from him, but it is with a chuckle that he adds: "Make sure you don't freelance yourself out of your employment, Sal."
Orsino's proposal catches his attention. "I see.", he muses, "And what would you suggest? Do you have designs, drawings, samples, anything a man could look at to decide whether it's worth his time and funds?"
"Certainly," Orsino says. "I can have a girl bring sketches of more fanciful creations, muslin samples… I might mention that there are probably those in your circle whom I have dressed. Or, if you have an outlandish idea you would like to see me design directly for, I should be happy to make my best attempt." He looks to Sal. "I'm sure your performers can tell me all the special requirements of free movement for their acts."
To Loryn's 'tsk', Sal has a scoff at the ready — though she's all huge smiles. "Y'know I'm invaluable," she says with cheeky confidence, arms spread wide, on her way to go retrieve her ball. She gestures at Orsino on her way past. "Can't you see he's a walkin' talkin' example of his work? It ain't no heroine's dress, but…" She shrugs, trusting enough in the make of the tailor's clothes, for what little the opinion of a poor juggler wearing plain men's clothes and a mask is worth.
"Well yes.", Loryn admits in response to Sal's off-handed comment, "And I said as much, didn't I? These clothes are very impressive." He nods once more towards Orsino's clothes, "But I'd still like to see more. He ponders briefly, eyes following Sal on her way to retrieve the ball. "Say… I am working on a piece about the legendary Princess Alisea, the Dragon Tamer of the Southern Sea. If she -" He nods to Sal, "Were to take on the part, how would you clothe her?"
The ball has rolled into a tangle of oddly-shaped backdrops. In the midst of crouching and reaching far as she can behind the stage sets, Sal bumps her shoulder and (harmlessly) jostles the whole pile, looking quickly back at Loryn. "I what? Hey now, what do I have to do with— " she grimaces, chasing the wayward ball with her fingertips.
"I can make a dragon-taming princess of your trousered juggler," Orsino promises, then nods to Sal, "Should she consent to such a transformation. Of course, I would want to know how your drama sees the princess, what is known of her. But left to my own devices…" He looks the juggler over. "She's slim, and that means we can add ample volume. Layers and layers of translucent silk. Mist grays, ocean blues, seaglass green. And they sweep up toward a stiff bodice, like a rocky cliff jutting out of the sea, crusted here and there with dense beading, like minerals glinting, you see?" He vaguely sketches a shape with Sal's body for reference. "One sleeve, built high in the shoulder like armor, either sculpted cloth or painted leather as you saw fit, flowing to a clawed hand. The sleeve could be used to conceal something for a trick if you wished: a cloth, a vial, anything you wished to appear from nowhere. Together with high shoes, she could be made larger than life."
Loryn's eyes widen a little in alarm when the pile of scenery begins to wobble, but luckily nothing crashes and breaks. His eyes remain on Sal when she chases her ball, trying to reconcile the young juggler with the images of the clothes Orsino is sketching for her. "It does sound intriguing…", he admits, "Sal, come over here!", he calls out to her, "Would you be willing to let him take your measures? I haven't yet started to think about who'll play Alisea, but I trust that the clothing could be altered later if necessary…" A quick sideglance at Orsino to make sure this is true.
Once she rescues the ball and returns it to the pouch with the other, Sal reluctantly approaches to provide a proper canvas for Orsino's imaginings on Loryn's beckoning. She even stands up straight and proper and holds her arms slightly up and out as though to be easily measured — either a pose so well-known it is instinct, or else a well-learned mimicry of Loryn's players getting measured for their costumes — but quickly crosses them across her chest, making a decidedly dour expression even though she says, "Fiine."
Orsino is less alarmed by wobbly scenery, since it doesn't come out of his purse. He nods to the impresario. "Altered with in reason," he says. "I can leave more seam allowance than in an ordinary garment so that it could be altered for use on more than one player. If we do that together with laced closures, it would fit a number of women, though not perhaps a person of twice the size." He looks between Sal and Loryn. "I can have a sketch sent to you by tomorrow, and if you will send her to my shop, I can begin to construct something and we shall see if it is to your liking. Does that please you both?"
Loryn nods in approval of Orsino's explanations on alterations. "Princess Alisea was fifteen in the legend. While she can be played by someone slightly older, she can not be played by someone twice Sal's size.", he decides firmly. "The dragon would struggle to get off the ground with her." He reaches for the last slice of flatbread - now fairly cold - and takes a bite while he listens to Orsino. His eyes wander to Sal. "Does that suit you, Sal?" And after a pause he adds pointedly: "Of course I'll make it worth your while."
"Do I look like a cloth dummy to be tossed about 'n' have fabric pinned on?" Sal's first instinct is to complain, but she quells the upswing of sass long enough to nod her head and cast her too-feisty gaze at her feet instead of Loryn. She shouldn't argue against something that's in her best interest. "Yeah, all right," she gives in, "Better me than take one'a your girls away from practice, or get their hopes up about bein' dragon princess what in the hell."
Orsino spreads his hands and shrugs to show that he would not presume to say who may or may not be a mythical teenage dragon princess, but that he accepts Loryn's judgment. "When I send a sketch I will ask also about a budget. Of course I can respect whatever the desired range may be, but although it sounds crass, I would mention that the fact of spending lavishly itself is a great means of advertising to common people who rarely get to see splendid things. I understand that people will pay more to see a dress they've heard is set with real pearls or jewels, though of course glass can do nicely for stage." He looks to Sal. "We'll do our very best to treat you better than a dummy, I promise," he says with a humorous smile.
Loryn chuckles softly at Sal's words and hopes she won't notice the look of relief that crosses his face when she agrees. "Indeed. You are… neutral, so to speak. Although who knows, if dressing up as a dragon princess inspires you to seek the part… I would be amenable to an audition." He seems less amenable to Orsino's talk of lavish spendings and splendid things. "Mr Flowers -", he begins primly, "You must not mistake my family's name and indeed the well-known fact of Highgarden's well-filled coffers for the financial means of a humble theatre. We operate on limited budgets here. Please do keep that in mind when you draft your sketches."
"The dress have'ta be made've magic thread to make me look young as that," Sal points out, though her voice is more humorous than self-deprecating. She lifts her head, grinning at them both, banishing the grumpier expression of mere moments ago.
Orsino makes a small bow and smiles at Loryn. "I shall restrain my fantasies to the limits you provide, my lord," he promises. "Glass will dazzle with sunlight and a mirror."
"Wonderful." Loryn manages to return Orsino's smile with a small one of his own. It turns into a grin though at Sal's remark. "Ah, you know… I don't really like working with teenagers… they make everything SO complicated…" Says the Tyrell who only just turned 20 himself. He looks between them them and claps his hands together. "Are we agreed then? You send some sketches tomorrow and I shall send Sal to you with my choices?"
Sal tugs her mask down over her eyes, which crease as her grin lifts her cheeks. "A man of illusions." She looks at Loryn and points at Orsino with a jerk of her thumb. "I like 'im."
"We are, my lord," Orsino replies, looking satisfied. "I thank you for your time." He smiles at Sal. "We'll meet again," he says.
"Good. I'm sure you'll get along then.", Loryn smiles at Sal, this time including Orsino in the smile. "I look forward to receiving your sketches. Now if you'd excuse me, I have an evening show to prepare for…"