ENGA11H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences, Bookkeeping

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27 Jan 2017
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The Balcony Review & Notes
Summary
“The play opens inside The Grand Balcony, a brothel in which customers may dress up to portray
their fantasies. Irma, the owner, coordinates the busy schedule as men masquerade as a bishop, judge, and a
general. Meanwhile, the streets outside are in the midst of open warfare as rebels claim more of the city. The
only remaining protection of the brothel is George, the Chief of Police and Irma’s lover.
Carmen, a former whore who is now a bookkeeper for the brothel, confesses to Irma that she misses
being a whore. She’s also upset that Irma doesn’t allow the women to talk about their jobs. Irma is distracted
by the absence of George but agrees that Carmen can play a pivotal role in an upcoming appointment. Irma
asks Carmen about the other girls at the brothel, especially Chantal who has joined the rebellion. George
shows up claiming that the Royal Palace has been surrounded and that the Queen is hiding. More important to
him, however, is the question of whether or not Irma’s clients ever fantasize being him, believing that imitation
will give him immortality. Her answer is no, which upsets George and convinces him to be more ruthless and
win the hearts and minds of people like her clients.
Outside the brothel, Chantal expresses her love for a plumber, Roger, among the rebels. The rebellion
has chosen her as a feminine symbol of the cause. Chantal is honored and willing to take the position, but
Roger is more reluctant.
Back in the brothel, the streets outside are more chaotic. The enigmatic Envoy of the Queen comes to
the building, stressing that most in the palace are dead or injured, including the Queen. He wants Irma to stand
in as the Queen so the populace will remain loyal and calm. George, reluctant to even pretend to appear weaker
than Irma, doesn’t approve of the idea. Irma decides to do it.
Irma makes an appearance on the brothel’s balcony accompanied by George and the men playing a
bishop, judge, and general. Chantal appears as well, but is shot by an assassin.
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