In a dimly lit room, a dark figure of King Claudius occupies a large sofa. He occasionally stands up and walks across the room, his appearance disheveled, and they look exhausted. Think Dylan Moran is doing stand-up comedy at one AM after a party. Others are gathered quietly in the corner, listening to what their king has to say. [Cornelius rambles].
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I am so tired; you cannot even imagine. The death of my brother would be a tragedy indeed; however if only you knew how exhausting all of this is. These speeches are sucking me dry, and I really don’t care at this point what happens. So what if I marry my brother’s wife? It’s not that I am in love; I just need to preserve the throne since it is beneficial to me as I’ve stopped thinking about what would be best for others. And for God’s sake, can anyone bring me a cigarette and some coffee?
Of course not! “Smoking is bad for your lungs, my lord; coffee is bad for your heart, my lord.” So what? Do you all really think that I can manage all of this drama in my kingdom without the support of at least mildly addicting things? Speaking of addiction, when will you all stop calling me ‘my lord’? What if I just want to be referred to as sir, or Mister, or gentleman Claudius? I am sick of your outdated traditions… and where is my coffee? Ah, here it is. Well, maybe coffee is controversial since it may not be a regular product of consumption at the times of Hamlet, but since you all bore me to death, I might as well!
[Claudius has a sip of coffee, lights up a cigarette].
I was wondering whether we can do a mini-golf course in the castle’s garden. It cannot be that expensive, right? It’s mini! Sorry, I digress. Where was I? Ah, my brother’s death. Well, not much to say about it; he lived, he died. All of you will probably never like me as much as you liked him, praying that Hamlet gets the throne and I just go away. Boohoo. I am staying just to annoy you, people of Denmark! I suppose it’s not long until you start drinking coffee and asking each other for the smoke of cigarette as my presence on the throne will be so exhausting to you; I hope you feel my pain.
As we all say farewell to the great King Hamlet, I would like to take a chance and invite you all to a poker game tomorrow at my place. There will be cocktails and those small sandwiches, like those you see Queen Elizabeth I serve at her tea parties. Here in Denmark, I think we are all too hard to have sandwiches with tea, right? Poker and alcohol are much better to accompany cucumber and ham sandwiches. Speaking of ham, is there any way not to slaughter the poor pigs? I feel deeply sorry for them, honestly. They are such gentle creatures with those little tails and big ears. What if we made pork, not of pork but of some vegetables or weird sprouts and beans? I have to speak to my chef about this, so I am leaving. You can stay here a bit and mourn the loss of my brother, but not too long. I have a massage appointment later.