The Cordelia Game is based on Cordelia’s role in the opening scene of King Lear. It occured to me that the whole play would go in completely a different direction if Cordelia just said “Oh, Daddy, I love you so much!” Such a different direction, indeed, that there wouldn’t even be a play. I realised there might be many such opportunities throughout the canon. In “the Cordelia Game”, you go round the table, giving each player 30 seconds or so to think of a character and something they could say which would totally and completely scupper the plot of their play. Anyone who can’t think of one, or whose suggestion fails to impress the other players, drinks three fingers or buys the next round. For example:
CORDELIA: Oh, daddy, I love you so much! Much more than my sisters. They’re just taking the piss. But I love you so much you wouldn’t believe it. Listen ...
HAMLET: Well, it’s an ill wind, isn’t it? I haven’t seen mum so happy in years.
CLAUDIO: I'm sorry, Don John, but I just don't believe you. And it’s not bloody Hero up at that window, anyway. It doesn’t look anything like her. It’s that tart who goes round with your henchman whatsisname. You’re just taking the piss.
PROSPERO: I didn’t like to tell them, but I’d never learned to read. So that’s why we’re stuck on this island, Miranda. Yes, Mr Caliban, sir, I’ll be there in a moment, sir!
HENRY VI: [of YORK, ideally before his brattish kids are even conceived] Off with his head!
LADY ANNE: What a good idea! [stabs Richard to death]
ISABELLA: I’ll go to Angelo and plead for mercy. And if that doesn’t work I’ll offer to suck his nob. That’s bound to do it! I wonder if I should go dressed as a nun...?
In the duel scene of Ricard II:
ORLANDO: Um, you don’t fancy dinner with me on Friday, at all, do you, M. LeBeau?
IAGO: Ancient? Excellent! It’s my dream job, you know.
ROSALINE: Yes, Romeo, I will marry you.
HENRY V: May I with right and conscience make this claim?
ARRAGON: I’ll choose the lead casket, please.
3rd WITCH: All hail Macbeth, that shall be kind hereafter.
GONERIL: Oh, come on daddy, I don’t love you that much. I mean, you are a bit crotchety, aren’t you. And Albany’s rather sweet...
and a personal favourite:
MARK ANTHONY: Friends, Romans, Cunts...
Incidentally, back in 2004 I initiated "The Cordelia Game" at the Shaksper forum. The thread commences here.