Kathie attempts to talk Nancy into yet another starring role.
St Clare's House Characters:
CBB member, Kathie Ferrars, Nancy Wilmot
Chalet School Shakespeare
31 Jul 2011 Updated:
06 Mar 2012
1. Artistic licence by Eleanore
2. A costume fitting by Eleanore
3. One or two touching moments by Eleanore
Artistic licence by Eleanore
"I don't," Nancy said disapprovingly, "see why we need to be put through this torture every time Eleanore has an essay to write."
"It's not every time. We didn't do The Taming of the Shrew."
"I'd rather that than this. Honestly, Kathie, look at the fiasco Othello turned out to be. I really don't think there's any benefit to trying again."
"If it helps Eleanore, and gives her more drabbling time-"
"But it doesn't help her," Nancy objected. "She doesn't get the essays written any faster, does she? She's one of those last-minute people - incurably so, if you ask me. The only way she'd get her essays finished earlier would be if you went ahead and wrote the wretched things for her - and even then she probably wouldn't hand them in until the last possible second."
Knowing Eleanore, Kathie had to admit that this was probably true.
"And we're not much better, I have to say," Nancy continued, as she noticed the clock. "It's 23:00 hours, the night before her essay deadline, and we're only just discussing this now. I think you've left it rather late, my love."
"That's hardly my fault," Kathie protested. "I wanted to start weeks ago, but there was a marked lack of enthusiasm. Whenever I even came close to mentioning it, people left the staff room in droves."
"Doesn't that tell you something? Kathie, nobody wants to be in a play about impetuous, over-dramatic, hormonal teenagers. Even Eleanore's stopped listening to you, and it's her essay."
Kathie looked dejected at this brutal interpretation of the lack of support for her production, and Nancy attempted to soften the blow. "Look, my love, we live in a school full to bursting with impetuous, over-dramatic, hormonal teenagers. If you feel you must produce this play, why not cast some of them?"
"That's not at all the sort of production I had in mind," Kathie pouted.
Nancy didn't really want to ask (something told her she wouldn't like the answer) but Kathie was looking at her expectantly. She sighed. "Okay, tell me what you had in mind. But I'm not promising I'll do it," she added hastily.
Kathie brightened. "It's just that I studied this play when I was in school. Everyone else was mooning over who would be their perfect Romeo, while I was always imagining my ideal Juliet, and now, well, here you are. It's too good an opportunity to waste."
"Me?" Nancy looked appalled. "Me as Juliet? Kathie, be serious."
"I was." Kathie couldn't see the problem.
Nancy was only too ready to explain it to her. "Juliet was not tall, chubby, and middle-aged."
"It's called artistic licence, Nance."
"You need radio to get away with that amount of artistic licence," Nancy said decidedly. "Just imagine what it would do to the balcony scene, if your Juliet looks like she could simply make a long arm and haul Romeo up to her. I don't suppose you particularly want to turn it into a farce? Not," she added, parenthetically, "that it could possibly make the wretched play any worse if you did. And just who were you intending to cast as Romeo anyway?"
"Well, um, me," Kathie admitted, with a hopeful expression.
"Oh. Well. In that case." Nancy had not expected this; Kathie wasn't in the habit of casting herself in her productions. "I suppose that does make a difference."
"Was that a yes?"
"It was a maybe."
A costume fitting by Eleanore
Nancy was standing in front of the mirror, surveying herself critically. "I don't look anything like Juliet."
This objection was instantly dismissed. "That's because you're not in costume yet."
"You haven't?" Nancy looked at Kathie suspiciously.
"No, I haven't," Kathie reassured her. "Eleanore has."
"That's worse." Nancy's face clearly showed her dread of just exactly what Eleanore might have thought appropriate, costume-wise. "It's pink, isn't it?"
"Well, yes," Kathie admitted. "But it's quite a nice pink, Nance. A sort of faded rose colour. Really, it's fine."
"There are ribbons too, aren't there?"
Kathie peered into the box which held the costume. "Maybe a couple."
"And frills? Tell me the worst."
"No, you lucked out there, she seems to have overlooked the frills this time."
"I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies," Nancy sighed. "I definitely couldn't have carried off the frills with any shred of dignity."
"There is something else I should probably mention..."
"No." Nancy clapped her hands over her ears. "No more. I don't want to know. I'm going to look an absolute fright, even without the frills. I can't believe you're making me do this. It wasn't enough to dragoon me into playing Juliet, now you have to dress me up as well?" She looked at Kathie appealingly. "Can't you tell Eleanore we'll find our own costumes?"
"I don't think I can. It'll hurt her feelings. She made this for you specially. Besides, she says you'll like it once you see it on."
"Hmmmm." Nancy was unconvinced. "People are already sniggering at the very idea of me playing Juliet. I can only imagine what the reaction will be if they see me prancing about in a pink beribboned frock as well." She prodded at the swathes of rosy fabric, wrinkling her nose up in disgust. "Are you honestly going to make me wear that thing?"
"Just try it on, Nance. Please?" Kathie looked at her beseechingly. "No one will laugh, I promise."
Nancy was once again surveying herself in the mirror, but this time with such a marked amount of appreciation that Kathie was moved to protest.
"I think the idea was for me to admire you, Nance, not for you to admire yourself."
"I'm not stopping you," Nancy replied, turning around and peering over her shoulder in an attempt to get a back view of her costume. "Admire all you want, as long as you don't get between me and the mirror."
"I thought you didn't like pink?"
"That's when I thought it was girly pink with frills and ribbons."
"It has ribbons," Kathie pointed out.
"Not proper ribbons."
"They look like ribbons to me." Having spent a considerable amount of time tying, and then re-tying, said ribbons, until they were arranged to her partner's satisfaction, Kathie was fairly definite on this point.
But Nancy had her own criteria by which to judge. "They don't count as ribbons if they're functional. These are very functional."
"That does not stop them being ribbons," Kathie objected, but Nancy's attention had already returned to the mirror, and she was no longer listening.
One or two touching moments by Eleanore
Shakespeare seems to have expressly designed Romeo and Juliet to allow Kathie to seduce Nancy - at least, that seems to be the interpretation they've managed to put on it...
As always, apologies for the hideous length of time between updates. I never intend to leave it so long, but I seem incapable of getting anything updated within a reasonable time frame.
"That's basically what it is - plus some additional draperies to turn it into a dress." Kathie mentally reviewed this latest addition to Nancy's wardrobe. "As for tying those ribbons, well, honestly, it was more like Gone With The Wind than Romeo and Juliet."
Nell Wilson took a moment to contemplate this interesting mental image. "Those curvy girls always look good in a corset," she said reminiscently, then hastened to change the subject before Kathie could give voice to the myriad of questions that were obviously bubbling up at this revelation. "You can't tell me it doesn't suit her."
"She looks positively... delectable," Kathie admitted mournfully.
"Then I don't really see what you've got to complain about."
"Unfortunately, she's spending all her free time admiring herself. I'll never," came the heartfelt wail, "be able to get her away from the mirror!"
Had Kathie but known it, her problem was well on the way to being solved. Parting from Nell at the entrance to the staff corridor, Kathie opened Nancy's door and walked straight into the middle of a confrontation. Nancy seemed to have finally turned her back on the mirror, although something in her stance suggested that this had not been accomplished entirely voluntarily, and was paying full (if abashed) attention to her visitor.
"I never saw such a display in my life, a grown woman preening in front of the mirror like that!" Matey's tones were withering. "I'm not having such behaviour from you, Nancy Wilmot. You may consider that frock confiscated. Bring it along to me after you've changed and I'll take charge of it until the day of the performance, when you may come and ask for it back."
"Yes, Matey." Nancy looked crestfallen.
"And if I hear of any more of this nonsense with mirrors, you won't be getting it back at all."
"I'm sure she'll be good," Kathie interjected hastily, seeing all prospects of getting Nancy to play Juliet vanishing, along with the costume that seemed to be her only inducement. "Right, Nance?"
The somewhat disgruntled sound that Nancy made in reply could have been anything, but Kathie chose to interpret it as an assent.
"See that she is," Matey said trenchantly, as she swept out of the room, with a last stern look at the miscreant. "If I have to come back here again, I'll confiscate the mirror as well, and she will have to use the mirror in my room, under supervision, until she convinces me that she can be trusted with it once more."
The instant the door closed behind the school tyrant, Nancy turned back to the mirror for one final, regretful glance. "Look, Kathie," she said wistfully, "I've got curves!"
Kathie was unimpressed by this revelation. "You've always had curves."
"Yes," Nancy admitted, her gaze still fixed on her reflection, "but now they're in all the right places."
However, Kathie wasn't prepared to admit defeat so easily. "I liked them where they were."
Surprise pulled Nancy's gaze away from the mirror. "Really?"
"Really," Kathie nodded, running her hands appreciatively over the attributes in question.
Nancy heaved a sigh and gave in, turning her back to her partner. "Go on then. I know you've been dying to do it."
With a grin, Kathie reached to untie the ribbons that held Nancy's outfit in place. "If I profane with my unworthiest hand," she began, "This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this-"
"What are you doing?" Nancy looked bewildered.
"Rehearsing. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready st-"
"Because if we're going to be acting this, we need to rehearse."
"I'm not going to be acting this." Nancy sounded determined.
"Of course you are." Having realised that the playtext itself had arguments aplenty to convince Nancy, Kathie was unperturbed by this recalcitrance from her partner. "You'll love it. It's a wonderful play."
"It's a wonderful costume," Nancy corrected her firmly. "The play, on the other hand, is stupid."
"I think," Kathie suggested, "you might find it has one or two touching moments."
"It doesn't." Nancy was not yet finished with her complaints. "It's a play about two idiots. They think they're in love with each other after one glance, which can't possibly be anything more than lust considering that they don't know the first thing about each other. Despite all their worries about what might happen, neither of them has enough brain to suggest that Juliet might consider accompanying Romeo to wherever it is he goes-"
"Mantua," Kathie supplied, her fingers still struggling with the ribbons, the knots having pulled tight under the strain.
"Wherever it is he goes," Nancy repeated, frowning at the interruption. "Then there's a lot of nonsense with poisons and duels, and half the characters end up dead. What, exactly, is so romantic about all of that? And what do you think you're doing back there?" She craned her neck, in an attempt to look over her own shoulder to where Kathie, finding the ribbons resistant to all her fingers could do, had started employing her teeth. "You're biting me."
"To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss," Kathie quoted at her, suiting her actions to the words. "Breathe in a second, Nance. Ah!" she exclaimed, as the knot yielded, and the bodice of the dress opened, "that's done it! Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? There are some good lines in this play, Nance. I'm sure you'll grow to like it, if we put in plenty of rehearsals."
"I suppose," Nancy admitted, turning slightly to give Kathie better access, as the maltreated costume slipped from her shoulders, "that I might be persuaded..."
Kathie's face lit up. "O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do..."
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