Be Careful How You Introduce Your Characters

You must be very careful how you introduce your characters. The star plan is to talk about them before they appear so as to make the audience curious to see them, and sufficiently informed about them to save them the trouble of explaining their circumstance. But as some of the characters must open the play and cannot be prepared in this way, you must either fall back on the Parisian well-made play formula and begin with a conversation between the butler and housemaid or else start the characters with a strongly assertive scene, like Richard III.