In this volume are the latest plays of Tom Stoppard, author of such contemporary classics as Jumpers, Dirty Linen, the Real Inspector Hound, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
It is Tom Stoppard's very special skill as the master comedian of ideas in the modern theater to create brilliant, biting humor out of serious concerns. Virtually assaulting the audience with a cascade of words and a conspicuous display of intellect, Stoppard, in Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, contrasts the circumstances of political prisoner and a mental patient in a Soviet insane asylum, to question the difference, if any, between free will and the freedom to conform. The situation, in which the mental patient "hears" an orchestra, is both chilling and funny as we are introduced to two men who happen to share the same name, are incarcerated in the same cell, and are attended by the same doctor.
Professional Foul poses metaphysical problems in dazzling theatrical form. Employing high-spirited comedy and a serious attempt to debate a moral absolute, Stoppard considers the nature of ethical choice: is right or wrong determined by a recognized ideal, or must right or wrong be judged according to the particular situation?