Best-known as the author of the film Shakespeare in Love and the plays Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Arcadia, Stoppard is at his “diabolically clever” best in this absurdly funny masterpiece featuring James Joyce, Vladimir Lenin and Dadaist (artistic iconoclast?) Tristan Tzara.
Zurich 1917: artists and exiles take refuge from the Great War in neutral Switzerland. Joyce is writing Ulysses and Lenin is planning a revolution. Stoppard creates a brilliant fantasia around the real-life incident of Joyce deciding to stage Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.