LARP: Hamlet

Facilitator: 
Viveka Nylund

Some time ago, old King Hamlet of Denmark passed away. He was taking his customary afternoon nap in the orchard when his heart failed him. Many gathered to Elsinore Castle for his funeral and for the wedding, a month later, of his widow, Queen Gertrude, to the late King’s younger brother, Claudius.
After the wedding and Claudius’ subsequent coronation, the castle returned, for the most part, to its former cheer, with nightly festivity and revelry. The only exception to this was young Prince Hamlet, son of the late King, who would not give up his mourning. Neither did he celebrate his mother’s marriage, arguing instead that marrying a late husband’s brother should be considered incestuous.
Shortly after the departure of Advisor Polonius’ son, Laertes, for France, Hamlet began behaving even more oddly. The consensus seemed to be that he had gone insane (rumors said for love of Polonius’ daughter, Ophelia). Hamlet’s condition caused everyone to tread lightly.
Then, for a time, things seemed to be looking up. A diplomatic agreement with the King of Norway deterred an attack by Prince Fortinbras’ army on Denmark. Deciding that it might be better for Hamlet to get away from Elsinore for a time, the King and Queen made arrangements for him to sail to England. That same evening, Hamlet sponsored a play for the court, an apparent sign that he was at last beginning to recover his former levity.
However, everything fell apart again that night. The play turned out to be about a regicide, an unsubtle accusation leveled by Hamlet at Claudius. Understandably angry, the King left abruptly, creating a great deal of awkward tension. A few hours after, Polonius was accidentally killed when he tripped and fell down the stairs. The court once more entered a state of mourning.
Rather than subject Hamlet to more grief, the King hastened his departure for England. Tonight marks Hamlet’s last evening in Elsinore for some time. He will be sailing in a few hours with the evening tide, and will remain in England for the indefinite future, until he recovers his health.
Thus, despite the general gloom of mourning in the castle, the King has called together a small gathering to see him off.

(This game is by Shifting Forest Storyworks. Character genders are hardset, but crossplaying is possible.)

System: 
RPS
System Knowledge: 
Not Needed
Number of Players: 
6-8 (6M/2F)
Genre: 
Shakespeare
Genre Knowledge: 
Useful
Role-playing Knowledge: 
Preferred
Classification: 
M
Scored: 
N