It seems likely that following years of turmoil, there could be a rather more stable approach to economic policy in the United Kingdom with the advent of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister and Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor.

However, that will not necessarily be good news for theatres, since the pair have already indicated that tough times are ahead and we all know that, when it comes to spending cuts, the arts are always near the top of the pile. In addition, inflation is out of control and energy costs are spiralling, which is particularly damaging to our industry with its reliance on light, heat and mechanical magic.

One solution might be to revisit Poor Theatre, a concept originally championed by the Polish theatre innovator, Jerzy Grotowski.

In simple terms, this means trying to produce work on stage at minimal cost using limited or no props or costumes, instead relying on the talents of the performers and the underlying script.

Peter Brook presented a similar idea in his book The Empty Space suggesting that "I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged".

While this might seem a little extreme to many performers and producers, it could also be the difference between managing to show off your talents and discovering that the bank manager will not support your dream, leaving brilliant artistes working in a bar or restaurant rather than on a stage.

With cost pressures mounting on theatres large and small, the idea of reducing your budget as close to zero as possible must make a great deal of sense.

While it might be lovely to garnish a show with lavish costumes and the kind of sex that are de rigueur for top Broadway shows, with patrons struggling to afford tickets and losses almost baked into any business plan, Poor Theatre has much to offer.

In fact, it has never gone away. Anyone who visits the Edinburgh Festival Fringe or its imitators across the globe will have seen promising young companies living on a shoestring in an attempt to share their artistic vision without building an overdraft that takes years to pay off.

The other benefit to this approach is that it should be possible to attract much larger audiences, since ticket prices can be kept to a minimum. Alternatively, some might wish to try out what Edinburgh has made popular with its Free Fringe relying on donations from delighted viewers or other theatres have implemented with “pay what you can”.

Those who are uncertain about this theory but keen to invest in their futures might be encouraged to recall that many of the top performers and directors in the West End, on Broadway and even Hollywood have started their careers in a similarly modest fashion.

On larger stages, there are several directors such as Ivo van Hove or Robert Icke who strip productions down to bare bones to make an artistic statement, although you sometimes get the impression that they are not necessarily doing this on a strictly minimalist budget.

It may be less obvious but even those who receive the most generous funding from government bodies or professional investors are also likely to be cutting back at the moment, perhaps working with smaller casts, entering into co-productions or otherwise reducing costs in ways that they hope are not too obvious to those still expected to pay top dollar for tickets.

With an uncertain financial future, attendance numbers still not back to pre-pandemic levels and many theatres large and small potentially likely to be struggling as they go dark around the turn of the year, a cautious approach of this type may be the only viable option.

On the plus side, as Peter Brook and others have repeatedly demonstrated, his artistic principles can also make for a thrilling night out.