Death of a Playwright

by Elias Helfer

Stratford-upon-Avon, 23rd of April 1616. William Shakespeare, Stratford’s foremost son, is at Death’s Door. His wife, Anne, and their two daughters sit next door, conversing quietly with the doctor, having just left the sickroom. The priest has been summoned.

Suddenly, a peculiar glare lights up the room. From thick shadows strange figures appear: Shakespeare’s other children, not conceived in by his seed in Anne’s womb, but by the muses in his mind. Here they stand, lead by Prospero, the enchanter, to re-enact his life and judge his conduct.

In this game, one player will assume the part of Shakespeare’s I, while each of the others will play one of his characters. But each character is a part of Shakespeare, and reflect a facet of his creator. The characters take turns framing scenes, and step into the roles of the people from Shakespeare’s life, trying to drive him in their direction. Shakespeare himself will be dragged through the story, and must relive both his triumphs and his defeats.


Time: 4-5 hours.

Players: 5 and a game master.

Player type: You like theatrical play, and dare brave a soliloquy. You like having must influence on and responsibility for the flow of the game, and you do not shy away from setting scenes.

Knowledge of Shakespeare is not necessary, but Shakespeare aficionados will have plenty of options to savour their Shakespeare.

Game Master: You are a moderator and a coach, and help the players set scenes and drive the game. Apart from that, you play Prospero the Enchanter, and take part in the game alongside the other characters.

Language: Everything will be available in both Danish and English.

About the author: Elias has spent almost two years retelling Hamlet at Kronborg Castle in Elsinore. This is a kind of occupational hazard.