If you are a theatre addict or worse a practitioner, it can be very difficult to see beyond the doom and gloom of an indefinite period of closure, which for many theatres might become permanent.

Despite the tremendous efforts of the great and the good, most recently SOLT CEO Julian Bird talking to a Parliamentary committee earlier this week, there is no sign of any government action to prop up a much-needed national resource and treasure.

That will surely come, although it does appear that those in power are currently more interested in soundbites with immediate impact than planning for the longer term.

Having said that, if Mr Johnson is reading this column, he might like to ponder on the fact that saving theatres and those who work in them could be a pretty potent soundbite.

It may not be immediately obvious, but there should be some big positives arising from incarceration at home.

While the pandemic is disastrous for actors and directors whose livelihoods have been threatened, playwrights, auteur-directors and other creatives have been given vast quantities of free time, potentially uninterrupted for many, in which to conceive and write.

In theory, therefore, there should be a boom in output, with every prospect of excellent quality, given the time that they will have to shape and perfect work.

If the historians are right, periods of plague in the Jacobethan era offered downtime to William Shakespeare and his peers, during which they wrote some of their finest work. Who knows, without the plague we might not now be able to enjoy Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet?

An argument against this thesis could rest in the anxiety and even starvation faced by some, bringing to mind the artists in their garret in La Bohème.

The alternative viewpoint would be to cite the many writers who thrived in adversity across the centuries, most recently those behind the Iron Curtain such as Vaclav Havel, who created so many wonderful samizdat plays and novels that may well have been far stronger than the equivalents written in a free state.

One problem might be motivation for those prone to wallow in lassitude. This is not just a trait known to be prevalent amongst playwrights, as last-minute management is a well-known concept in the business world.

The knowledge that your play is unlikely to be needed for a year or more is hardly likely to charge someone who needs the pressure of an impending first night to complete a play into frenzied action.

One could impolitely suggest that this unique experience might be an ideal opportunity to leave behind such childish behaviour forever and build up a whole canon of work in the period of closure.

As of this moment, nobody knows when theatres are going to open in the vast majority of the English-speaking world, which is a big problem. However, it is nice to think that, whenever that happy day finally arrives, there will be a welter of classic new work waiting to be performed.