Before they became keepers of the corrupting Cruelty, these maidens
were chaste, feminine forces of light. Under the influence of the Cruelty
they have become hard, male-fearing, devouring animal creatures, torn
between military stoicism and voluptuous carnal sensuality. They fight
their baser impulses, so the attitudes towards the Mites are sometimes
ambiguous, torn. At first they represent the dark, heavy side of nature.
In the presence of the captured Starmites this spell begins to release a
bit, and by Act Two, they are staring to lighten up. (The song: Milady,
really helps. Space Punk's total masculine sincerity and genuine love
really touches them.) After Cruelty Stomp, when Bizarbara is kidnapped and
the Cruelty removed from their sacred halls, the Banshees, at first,
collapse in total trauma. But in Reach Right Down, they revive and for the
first time in many an Innerspace moon, they demonstrate their true
goodness by supporting Milady.
In their final scene, they are basically their old wholesome "Starmite"
selves again -- but we should still get a little feeling of benevolent
mischief when they sing the Starmites/Diva Reprise.
The Banshees go through a great deal of change during the show. It is
so important that we set them up as extremely serious being -- so that we
can have fun with them as the action progresses. The audience should never
feel that they are deliberately being funny or "shticky." In
fact, Banshees are the most completely humorless creatures one could ever
encounter. They are like lusciously sensual Margaret Dumonts, who
occasionally and insanely break out into rock -n- roll.
They are totally under Diva's all-doing dominance. They must be
absolutely terrified of her, so when they do get carried away a couple of
times by sheer exuberance, she can terrorize them back into submission.
(They wouldn't dare upstage her solos or make fun of her in any
way. We must sacrifice easy giggles from the audience for decorum,
gravity, awesomeness -- which should ultimately make the absurdity of the
situations and interactions with the more flippant Starmites funnier.)
Banshees ARE NOT HUMAN. They are creatures. A kind of winged animal.
Bird like. Dangerous. They are instinctive. Sense of smell and touch
dominate. Their ad lib reactions should be feral, extremely intense, as
should be their concentration when listening in scenes. Their screams
should not be human screams. Create something beautifully bizarre. Their
ritual gestures should not be designed to be funny. Think powerful and
graceful and mysterious.
They are not witches, and shouldn't fall into cliché "witchiness."
Better choices: Sirens. When in doubt choose sensuous -- "Can we rip
them, Diva?" "Why don't we have them all for dinner?"
Seductive, in spite of their military bearing.