A mnemonic for the notes E G B D F that occupy the stave lines of music. Other forms of the mnemonic are Every good boy deserves fruit, and Every good boy does fine (see that node for the best explanation). The notes on the white spaces between are easily remembered as F A C E.

A play by Tom Stoppard and André Previn. It is subtitled "A Play for Actors and Orchestra", and is notable for the fact that it does indeed contain a full-size symphony orchestra. Previn commissioned it from Stoppard by asking him for a text for which he would do music.

Stoppard began with no idea what to write about, but since his only experience of real music was as a triangle player in kindergarten, he decided the main character could be an amateur triangle player. At first starring a millionaire triangle player who owned an orchestra to play it in, then a lunatic who merely imagined his orchestra, the idea languished until he read about dissidents in the Soviet Union who were confined to mental asylums for uttering various subversive and insane thoughts, such as, for example, the claim that dissidents in the Soviet Union were confined to mental asylums for... a typically Stoppardian Catch-22.

So the play is set in a Soviet psychiatric hospital or prison (the distinction is disputed in the course of the play), with a political dissenter called Alexander Ivanov sharing a cell with a triangle-playing lunatic called Alexander Ivanov. The doctor, who in fact plays violin in a real orchestra while he's trying to convince Ivanov that there is no orchestra, explains to Alexander repeatedly that he isn't in a cell, he's in a ward, because prisons have cells whereas hospitals have wards, and one of the things he's going to have to agree to if he wants to be released is that he's insane and therefore rightly confined to a mental hospital.

This has the beauty of being typical Stoppard surrealist madness, and at the same time a very realistic condemnation of the Soviet systematic abuse of psychiatry. It's all based on real people and reports.

The doctor uses Alexander's son Sacha to try to persuade him to submit and seek his freedom on the establishment's terms. ("He's a good boy. He deserves a father.")

It was first performed at the Festival Hall in July 1977, starring Ian McKellen, John Wood, Patrick Stewart, and the London Symphony Orchestra under Previn.