a one-act play
Robert B Suda and Elod Pal Csirmaz
(in English and in Hungarian)

King Richard II and President Richard Nixon had to face the very same problems after coming to power. Both of them were weak and had limited financial resources. Each of them had strong opposition, and inherited a war from the previous leader that could not be put to an end. This is why they ventured into semi-legal machinations to reassert their positions—partly with the help of, but partly against their powerful mentors: John of Gaunt and Henry Kissinger. But their manoeuvres did not work out well, and the two leaders were unable to cover up the ensuing scandals that ultimately led to their abdication and resignation—which happened for the first time in the history of England and the United States.
   The play presents the two stories from beginning to end in a parallel fashion, with the characters belonging both to King Richard's fourteenth and to Nixon's twentieth century. The script makes use of a paraphrased version of Shakespeare's King Richard II, as well as of various speeches, records and the Watergate-tapes from Nixon's time so that the unfolding political thriller may offer an inside view of the timeless intrigues of those in and around power.
   Running time: 110 minutes.

King Richard II / Richard M Nixon
John Gaunt / Henry A Kissinger
Northumberland / the Democratic party
Henry Bolingbroke / Gerald Ford
Councillor / John, the White House staff
Isabella, the imported Queen / First Lady
Robert de Vere
Thomas Mowbray

The roles of DE VERE, MOWBRAY and AUMERLE can be played by one actor. The roles of GAUNT, NORTHUMBERLAND and JOHN can be played by either men or women.


Black label, white cap, little switch on the side, long wire coming out of the base?
Yes, yes, yes. How do you know?
They're bugs, you moron. Basic CIA equipment.
Get out of the Watergate.

Draw near, draw near, the duel has not begun,
Come list what with the council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled
With that dear sacred blood for which it toiled,
And for our eyes have constantly abhorred
All civil wounds ploughed up with neighbours' sword,
And for it's your own sky-aspiring pride
That makes you act in ways unjustified
And wake our peace on this disastrous day
With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray;
And for fair peace in England's peaceful lap
Still draws his infant breath of gentle nap,
And for the clash of wrathful iron arms
Scares it away from Britain's verdant farms,
And we, without it, dwelling in the mud,
Will even wade in our dear kindred's blood;
For all these and for reasons more than these,
The council's banished you our territ'ries.
Good Bolingbroke, you, upon pain of life,
Till summers pass, in number five and five,
And twice five springs revive the frozen sand,
You shall not set –
      – your foot on English land.
For Mowbray, you, remains a heavier doom,
Your exile's border-stone shall be your tomb;
Your hours will be made years by sluggish clocks;
You shan't return –
      – unless you're in a box.

The Hungarian version of the play—on which the English version is based—was first performed in the New Studio (Új Stúdió) of Thália Theatre, Budapest, Hungary, on 10 November 2005, with the following cast:

King Richard II / Richard M Nixon - J. András Karsai
John Gaunt / Henry A Kissinger - Amália Simonfi
Northumberland / the Democratic Party - Veronika Karsai
Henry Bolingbroke / Gerald Ford - Levente Lõrincz
Councillor / John, the White House staff - Krisztina Jezsó
Isabella, the imported Queen / First Lady - Júlia Szörényi
Robert de Vere - Thomas Mowbray - Aumerle - Gergõ Takács

Translation (Shakespeare to Hungarian) - Előd P Csirmaz
Choreography & pantomime - Veronika Karsai
Directed by Robert B Suda

It has also been published by the Hungarian Association of Young Writers in 2007.

Production photos of the Hungarian version:
For more information and production photos please visit the English section of the official homepage of the Hungarian production at