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The Hamnet Players were a sort of theatrical group of IRC users led by Stuart Harris. On 12 Dec 1993 they staged the premiere of the first play to be adapted for IRC—or any chat medium as far as I know. The play was Hamnet, though Shakespeare may have had a hard time recognising it as literature, let alone as a descendant of his own Hamlet. Hamnet exposes all the human vice and none of the virtue of the inhabitants of IRC. By way maybe of intent, possibly of coincidence but definitely of irony, the name of the play is also that of Shakespeare's son.


<audience> rhubarb...
**<< Action >>** : _The CURTAIN RISES to reveal the stage set...

[ASCII graphic of castle snipped --Ed.]

<_Set>                 W E L C O M E   T O   E L S I N O R E!!!
<_Set>                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
<_Set>      [0]

<audience> Clap,clap,clap.... etc....       [1]
       =====PROLOGUE /TOPIC World_Premiere _irc_Hamlet_in_Progress  [2]
*** PROLOGUE has changed the topic on channel #Hamnet to "World_Premiere
_irc_Hamlet_in_Progress"<PROLOGUE> All the world's a Unix term....  [3]
<PROLOGUE> ...and all the men & women merely irc addicts....
 [4]
<PROLOGUE> This show is Copyright 1993 The Hamnet Players [5]
<PROLOGUE> Enjoy our show + no heckling plz [6]
<PROLOGUE> Script should not be re-staged w/out permish [7]
**<< Action >>** : SCENE 1: THE BATTLEMENTS  [8]
**<< Action >>** : _Enter Hamlet  [9]
**<< Action >>** : _Enter Ghost   [10]
<Hamlet> re, Ghost. Zup?          [11]
<Ghost> Yr uncle's fucking yr mum. I'm counting on u to /KICK the bastard.
[12]

      ======== GHOST /MODE * +o Hamlet    [13]
*** Mode change "+o Hamlet" on channel #Hamnet by Ghost
<Hamlet> Holy shit!!!! Don't op me, man!!!! I've gotta think abt this, + I've got
chem lab in 1/2 hr. :-((((      [14]
**<< Action >>** : _Exit Hamlet     [15]

**<< Action >>** : SCENE 2: AFTER HAMLET'S CHEM LAB     [16]
<Hamlet> 2b or not 2b...   [17]
<Hamlet> Hmmmmmm...        [18]
<Hamlet> :-(    Bummer...  [19]
<Hamlet> Ooops, here comes Ophelia    [20]
**<< Action >>** : _Enter Ophelia     [21]
<Ophelia> Here's yr stuff back        [22]
<Hamlet> Not mine, love.   Hehehehehe ;-D  [23]
<Ophelia> O heavenly powers: restore him!  [24]
**<< Action >>** Ophelia thinks Hamlet's nuts  [25] 
<Hamlet> Make that "sanity-deprived", pls....  [26]
<Hamlet> Oph: suggest u /JOIN #nunnery         [27] 
<Ophelia> :-(    [28]
*** Signoff: Ophelia (drowning)   [29]

**<< Action >>** : SCENE 3: INTERIOR    [30]
**<< Action >>** : _Enter R_krantz      [31]
**<< Action >>** : _Enter G_stern       [32]
<R_krantz> re   [33]
<G_stern> re    [34]
<Hamlet> re, guys... :-\     [35]
<R_krantz> zup?              [36]
<Hamlet> Fucked if i know. brb...  [37]
**<< Action >>** : _Exit Hamlet in a sulk.  [38]
<G_stern> fuckza matter w/him?     [39]
<R_krantz> Guess he must be lagged. Let's lurk   [40]
**<< Action >>** : R_krantz lurks   [41]
**<< Action >>** : G_stern lurks    [42]

**<< Action >>** : SCENE 4: THE QUEEN'S CLOSET  [43]
<Hamlet> Ma: what the fuck's going on?  [44]
<Queen> Don't flame me, i'm yr Ma!      [45]
<Queen> Er....   [46]
<Prompter> Psst! Thou hast thy father much offended..  [47]
<Queen> Oh, right.... Yr dad's pissed at u   [48]
**<< Action >>** : Hamlet slashes at the arras  [49]
<Polonius> Arrrghhhh!!!   [50]   
      ========= HAMLET /KICK * Polonius  [51]
*** Polonius has been kicked off channel #Hamnet by Hamlet
<Queen> Now look what u've done u little nerd.   :-(  [52]
<Hamlet> Wrong man...... Bummer...    [53]

**<< Action >>** : SCENE 5: GRUESOME FINALE    [54]
      ========= QUEEN /TOPIC DEATH    [55]
*** Queen has changed the topic on channel #Hamnet to "DEATH"
**<< Action >>** : _Enter Hamlet, Queen, King, Laertes, R_krantz, G_stern
[56]
**<< Action >>** : Queen takes a drink   [57]
**<< Action >>** : King gives Ham & Laer swords  [58]
<King> Go for it, lads!  [59]
**<< Action >>** : Laertes stabs Hamlet [60]
**<< Action >>** : Hamlet stabs Laertes [61]
**<< Action >>** : Hamlet stabs King    [62]
<Queen> Holy shit this Danish vodka is like poison   :-@
[63]
<Hamlet> and u always thought i was just wasting my time in chem lab, hehehe
[64]
**<< Action >>** : Queen dies in agony    [65]
<King> Aaaaarrgghhh!   [66]
**<< Action >>** : King dies  [67]
<Laertes> AAaaaarrrrrrhhhhh!!!!  [68]
**<< Action >>** : Laertes dies  [69]
<Hamlet> AAAAaaaaaarrrrrrhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[70]
**<< Action >>** : Hamlet dies   [71]
**<< Action >>** : R_krantz + G_stern GULP!!!!!!  [72]

**<< Action >>** : _Enter Fortinbras + drum + colours + attendants
[73]
<Fort_bras> EEEEEEEuuuuuucchhhhhh!!!!!! What's been hpng here?  [74]
<Drum> Like, rat-a-tat, man   [75]
<Colours> Hmmmmmmm......      [76]
<Attndts> Holy sheeeeet!!!!!  [77]
      ============ FORT_BRAS  /NICK _King    [78]
** Fort_bras is now knwn as _King
**<<Action >>** :  _The CURTAIN SLOWLY FALLS.
{{{{{{{--THE END--}}}}}}} [79]
<audience> hmmmmmmmm.....  [80]

Text © 1993 The Hamnet Players, San Diego
Text copied from now defunct web page at http://www.mit.edu/~jcb/humor/irc-hamlet
I've forgotten whether I asked Stuart for permission to copy this. I probably did.

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