Irma, called The Queen, the proprietress of the Grand Balcony, a brothel specializing in role-playing games. Approximately forty years old, she wears severe clothing and jewelry that reflect her bent for business matters and the riches they bring. Predisposed to calling her wealthy customers “visitors” instead of “clients,” she fears a workers’ revolt that would threaten her establishment. Although she appears to have some genuine affection for one of her employees, Carmen, as well as for the Chief of Police, George, her good standing with them seems largely predicated on their usefulness to her. In scene 8, she becomes The Queen, wearing an ermine cloak and, on her brow, a diadem.
The Chief of Police
The Chief of Police, a man named George, a cigar smoker who wears a heavy fur-lined coat and hat. He wishes that “Chief of Police” would become one of the figures portrayed at the Grand Balcony. A politically ambitious freemason, he dreams of being enshrined in a tomb by the subjects of an empire he aspires to command. In scene 8, he becomes The Hero; later in the play, he seems to have achieved his goals. It is also revealed that he wears a toupee.
The Bishop and
The Judge, clients at the Grand Balcony who first appear in versions of their customary garb, wearing garish makeup, twenty-inch tragedian’s cothurni, and other accoutrements that make them seem unusually large. Later in the play, they appear to have actually assumed their roles in Irma’s regime.
The General, another client, a retiring-looking gentlemen who is first shown being...
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