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An excerpt from

“THE CASE OF THE PRINCE FORMERLY KNOWN AS HAMLET”
A Justin Thyme Mystery
By Bruce Kane

Hardboiled detective Justin Thyme travels to Elsinore to find out who whacked Hamlet's old man.

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This excerpt is provided as an example of the complete play and may not be performed or presented publically.

 

“THE CASE OF THE PRINCE FORMERLY KNOWN AS HAMLET”
A Justin Thyme Mystery
By Bruce Kane

CHARACTERS:

Justin Thyme – Bogart like, hard boiled detective. Tough, sardonic, world weary.


Hamlet –Prince of Denmark Self absorbed and just a little dense
Ophelia – Sexy, femme fatale
King Hamlet – Dying king
Gertrude- Hamlet’s randy mother
Claudius – The evil new king
Polonius – Ophelia’s aphorism spouting father
Laertes – Ophelia’s vengeful brother
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern - Hamlet’s tweedle dee and tweedle dum college chums
Gunsel - Claudius’s strong arm man
Announcer – Boxing ring announcer.
Player King - Actor in Hamlet’s play
Various citizens of Elsinore

MUSIC: A bluesy saxophone.

THYME: It ended like most of my cases …with everybody dead. The king was dead. The queen was dead. The prince was almost dead.

MUSIC OUT:

MAIN HALL - ELSINORE CASTLE – DENMARK – IN THE 11TH CENTURY

HAMLET: O, I die, good friend.
The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit.
And the rest is silence.

THYME: Unfortunately the rest wasn’t silence. For a guy who was checking out, Prince Hamlet had a lot to say.

HAMLET: O good friend, if thou didst ever hold me in thy heart
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.

THYME: It doesn't take much to see that the problems of one Danish prince don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. But what the heck. Yeah. I’ll tell your story. I owe you that much.

MUSIC: BLUESY SAXOPHONE

THYME: It all began with a summons from the King of Denmark . He wouldn’t say what the problem was, but he sounded worried… Very worried. So, I brushed up on my eleventh century Danish and headed for Elsinore. Me? I’m Justin Thyme. I work for the F.B.I. The Fictional Bureau of Investigation. That’s right, I’m a fictional detective.

MUSIC OUT:

ELSINORE CASTLE - GARDEN

THYME: When I finally reached the castle, I was told I could find the king resting in the garden. The king was in the garden alright. But he wasn’t resting.

KING HAMLET: (in a choking voice) Murder most foul.

THYME: Yeah. It usually is.

KING HAMLET: In my ear.

THYME: He was fading fast. I leaned in closer. (speaks louder and slower) Yeah, it usually is.

KING HAMLET: You don’t have to shout. I’m dying, not deaf.

THYME: You said in your ear.

KING HAMLET: Poison in my ear.

THYME: That’d do it.

KING HAMLET: My son.

THYME: Your son murdered you?

KING HAMLET: No. No… My son didn’t murder me. He must avenge me. Help him Thyme… Help Hamlet avenge me. Promise me, Thyme… Promise me.

THYME: Yeah… Sure… I’ll get the guy who murdered you. Just one question.

KING HAMLET: Yes?

THYME: Who murdered you?

KING HAMLET: It was… It was… (King Hamlet snorts loudly and dies)

THYME: How do you spell that? He didn’t answer me. He was dead and one thing you learn in the detective game is that dead men give lousy answers.

MUSIC TRANSITION:

THYME: I made a promise and now I was stuck with it. The code of the fictional detective demanded that I help the king’s son avenge his death. So now I had to find out who whacked the old man. That’s the way it works. . First you find the killer, then you avenge. You could do it the other way around but then you’d have to kill everybody. My first step was to find Hamlet.

SEXY SAXOPHONE MUSIC:

OPHELIA: Well, hello tall, dark and out of place.

THYME: She was wearing a diaphanous gown that was dropping more hints than the host of a bad game show. She told me her name was Ophelia.

OPHELIA: My name’s Ophelia.

THYME: But that her friends called her… Feelya

OPHELIA: But my friends call me … Feelya.

THYME: She guessed that my name was Thyme. That I was the fictional detective.

OPHELIA: You must be Thyme… The fictional detective.

THYME: She said she knew from…

OPHELIA: Could you please stop doing that.

THYME: Sorry, button nose… Force of habit.

OPHELIA: My father warned me about men like you. He said you were T… R…O…U…B…L…E.

THYME: Looks and brains. Dames like this always spelled trouble. You know Prince Hamlet?

OPHELIA: Intimately

THYME: Something about the way she said “intimately” led me to believe she knew the Prince… “intimately.” Know where I can find him?

OPHELIA: Through that door, down the corridor, past the turret, through the main ballroom, turn right at the armory, left at the keep, right at the chapel, right again at the throne room, down the next corridor and around the second tower. It’ll be the third door on your right.

THYME: Thanks, dollface.

OPHELIA: Anytime.

THYME: I watched her walk away on legs that started where legs usually start, around floor level and ended where you don’t expect them to end… just below her ears. I followed her directions to Prince Hamlet’s quarters.

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