There can be no doubt that the influence of film and TV is having a dramatic effect on the live theatre community. The big question is whether this is good news or bad.
Rather than trying to combine the pros and cons in a single article, we thought that it would be more interesting to create a little debate by making the cases for each side as strongly as possible in a two-part debate.
This week, we are looking at the positives and later in the month will examine some of the reasons for serious concern regarding the ways in which the popularity of entertainment on large and small screens is diminishing the theatre industry.
It is hard to know where to start, such is the scope of influence that the film and TV industry has on the stage. From a people perspective, there must be a large number of actors, writers and directors who could not make ends meet working in theatre without supplementing their earnings by sorties into TV shows and movies. At the same time, they will learn new techniques that can feed back into the creation of stage work.
It is also relatively common for the most successful stage productions to transfer to TV or film, think of Hamilton, The Play That Goes Wrong or Fleabag, presumably bringing royalties into theatres and to producers and practitioners at the same time as reminding or informing viewers that some of the best and most inventive writing still emanates from the London stage. The BBC and Sky Arts also film plays for wider audiences than could ever see them during a single theatre run to similar positive effect.
At the other end of the scale, the West End would be practically moribund without the direct and indirect support it receives from the other side. It is sometimes hard to imagine a major West End show that could have received an outing without the existence of its glamorous, richer sisters.
So many musicals but also straight plays are based on a major film or TV show, producers assuming that they will get guaranteed ticket sales as a result. It can only be a matter of time before a musical version of Barbie sells out on Broadway and a year later in the West End, swiftly followed by Oppenheimer, though that one is more likely to be presented as a star-cast, straight play.
A slightly different but equally popular route is to launch a show on the back of big-name stars from Hollywood or the small screen, once again utilising their drawing abilities to underwrite the production.
Going a step further, some shows, especially those based on outpourings from the Disney enterprise, now receive significant financial backing from major corporations seeking new avenues for revenue generation and publicity.
Technological developments are also often advanced in an effort to enhance movie experiences and then slowly trickle down to the point where they become affordable not only for those producing major shows in the West End and on Broadway but, further down the line, anyone with a bit of technical nous and a laptop.
If this column makes TV and movies seem like a generous theatrical fairy godmother, then up to a point that is probably true. There are downsides, which will form the basis of the follow-up.