What: In this one-act play by Tom Stoppard, two theater critics are watching a murder mystery and inadvertently become main players. True to Stoppard style, we've got thoughts on free will, the nature of criticism, and the role of the audience within a meta satirical framework. So, yes, it's all very meta and very post-whatever, but it's also very funny.
Comparable to: Stoppard also wrote Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. You can tell.
Opening lines: "The first thing is that the audience appear to be confronted by their own reflection in a huge mirror. Impossible." [stage directions]
Representative quote: "Sometimes I dream of revolution, a bloody coup coup d’état by the second rank – troupes of actors slaughtered by their under-studies, magicians sawn in half by indefatigably smiling glamour girls . . . the seconds-in-command, the runners-up, the right-hand men – storming the palace gates wherein the second son has already mounted the throne having committed regicide with a croquet mallet – stand-ins of the world stand up!"
You might not like it if: You actually quite, quite like The Mousetrap and are totally offended by the idea of parodying whodunits just to make some point about Art or Reality or whatever.
How to get it: It is so short! It is very short. You will almost certainly find it in a collection with other Stoppard plays, whether in paper or on your Kindle. And that's just fine.