The author, former Principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, articulates his views on the role of the director and it's a perceptive, experienced performance. He emphasizes the importance of the relationship between director and actor, the oblique approach the director must take: ""Actors must, because they are individualists playing individual characters, oppose any conscious attempt to force them into a mold."" The keynote--subtlety, psychology, persuasion. He discusses the persona of the audience, the strategy employed in the telling of the story, the variety of moods, tensions, surprise, and in particular the use of pause to provide dramatic contrast. . . all in relation to general pace and rhythm. The chapter on stage techniques--placement of scenery, sight-line arrangements, includes illustrations. Then there is the overall importance of understanding and interpretation, the focus on the broad canvas, from casting to curtain's up. His asides succinctly explain his philosophy and the practicality of his methods. Certainly a useful and genuinely stimulating appraisal and guide.