A good play gives us in miniature a cross-section of life, heightened by plot and characterisation, by witty and compact dialogue. Of course we should honour first the playwright, who has given form to each well knit act and telling scene. But that worthy man, perhaps at this moment sipping his coffee at the Authors' Club, gave his drama its form only; its substance is created by the men and women who, with sympathy, intelligence and grace, embody with convincing power the hero and heroine, assassin and accomplice, lover and jilt. For the success of many a play their writers would be quick to acknowledge a further and initial debt, both in suggestion and criticism, to the artists who know from experience on the boards that deeds should he done, not talked about, that action is cardinal, with no other words than naturally spring from action. Players, too, not seldom remind authors that every incident should not only be interesting in itself, but take the play a stride forward through the entanglement and unravelling of its plot. It is altogether probable that the heights to which Shakespeare rose as a dramatist were due in a measure to his knowledge of how a comedy, or a tragedy, appears behind as well as in front of the footlights, all in an atmosphere quite other than that surrounding a poet at his desk.