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Hamnet – a scary ghost story
On a dark winter night, a ghost walks the ramparts of the Beehive in Wellington. Discovered first by a pair of ACTion men, then by the old duffer Rogario, the ghost resembles the deposed National Disgrace leader, King Dong whose former young upstart Prince Jiangqi with the assistance of some shady ACTion men has inherited his throne and got him in the crap with his missus.
When Rogario and the ACTion men bring Prince Rodders, the leading ACTion man to see the ghost, it speaks to him, declaring ominously that it is indeed his Dong’s spirit, and that he was done away with most callously by none other than Jiangqi with the assistance of some shady ACTion men. Ordering Rodders to seek revenge on the man who usurped his throne and got him in the crap with his wife, the ghost disappears with the dawn.
Prince Rodders devotes himself to avenging King Dong’s demise, but, because he is contemplative and thoughtful by nature, he delays, entering into a deep melancholy and even apparent madness. Jiangqi and his henchwoman Crusher worry about the prince’s erratic behavior and attempt to discover its cause. They employ a pair of Dong’s friends, Bankso and Bosco, to watch him.
When Gannett, the pompous Lord High Forger, suggests that Rodders may be mad with love for his list MP, Hevva, Jiangqi agrees to spy on Rodders in conversation with the girl. But though Rodders certainly seems mad, he does not seem to love Hevva: he orders her to enter a nunnery and declares that he wishes to ban marriages.
A group of traveling ACTors comes to Wellington, and Rodders seizes upon an idea to test his opponent’s guilt. He will have the players perform a scene closely resembling the sequence by which Rodders imagines his opponent to have deposed King Dong, so that if Jiangqi is guilty, he will surely react. When the moment of the murder arrives in the theater, Jiangqi leaps up and leaves the room. Rodders and Rogario agree that this proves his guilt. Rodders goes to scupper Jiangqi’s reign but finds him praying. Since he believes that killing Jiangqi while in prayer would send Jiangqi’s soul to heaven, Rodders considers that it would be an inadequate revenge and decides to wait. Jiangqi, now frightened of Rodders’ madness and fearing for his own safety, orders that Rodders be sent to civilian life at once.
Rodders goes to confront Hevva, in whose office Gannett has hidden behind a tapestry. Hearing a noise from behind the tapestry, Rodders believes Jiangqi is hiding there. He draws his breath and issues a statement through the media, dismissing Gannett. For this crime, he is immediately dispatched to the electoral with Bankso and Bosco watching him However, Jiangqi’s plan for Rodders includes more than banishment, as he has given Bankso and Bosco sealed orders for the ghost of King Dong demanding that Rodders be excommunicated from the ACTion man Party.
Following Prince Rodders demise King Dong reveals his plan to re-launch the ACTion party to lift the spirits of New Zealanders. In order to up the spiritual quotient he vows to fill the caucus benches exclusively with members who are either dead, brain dead, or just dead boring.
So if you hear some unholy clunking in the dark hours of November; fear not; it is just the ghost of elections past come back to remind us not to elect any more deadheads to run our fine nation.