Some readers may have spotted a Michael Billington column in The Guardian covering an event at which Katie Mitchell put forward the case for directors as the moving force in theatre, with actors beating playwrights coming in a poor third place.

In doing so, she contrasted the German and European approach with traditions in the English-speaking theatre, where text has always been regarded as of primary importance.

This brought to mind an interview given by Jonathan Bank, the Artistic Director of New York’s Mint Theatre (strap-line "Loss Plays Found Here"), like the Orange Tree in Richmond and Jermyn Street, a great champion of unjustly forgotten plays, primarily from the first half of the last century. As some may recall, the theatre’s broadcasts were a source of much comfort during the worst days of lockdown.

With apologies for any inaccurate transcription, Jonathan Bank said:

“I'm really interested in a conventional narrative structure.

“I want an audience having an Aristotelian kind of experience of engagement in the story not an engagement in the directorial cleverness of whoever was putting the show together.

“I wanted the conversation at intermission to be what do you think is going to happen?”

This will be anathema to those who believe that the writer’s sole purpose is to facilitate the vision of a director, although to go a step further and believe that writers are now redundant since directors, sometimes with the aid of actors, should devise anything seen on stage.

Gone are the days when Harold Pinter would not only expect every word to be delivered accurately but each and every pause as well.

Instead, directors happily re-hash the text, whether it was penned by Shakespeare, Wilde or someone fresh out of university, secure in the knowledge that they know better than the writer what he or she intended.

This is not to denigrate the best work created via the imaginations of directors such as Katie Mitchell, Robert Lepage and Thomas Ostermeier. It can be intoxicating. What can all too easily go missing is the intent of a writer who had in mind a particular message and the various acceptable ways in which it might be delivered.

Many would happily take on board improvements from directors and dramaturgs and work hand-in-hand with collaborators.

However, on seeing some recent renditions of Shakespeare’s finest, not to mention classics of the 20th century, you could easily imagine the distraught playwright turning angrily in his or her grave with great regularity as the latest enormity destroys a work of genius and turns it into something utterly mundane.

That is not to say that faithfully attempting to render a work from centuries ago may not be equally dull.

Clearly, as in all walks of life, a balance can be reached that should satisfy most theatregoers. Alternatively, we may just have to accept a diversification, with some choosing to follow auteur directors, while others prefer those who faithfully follow texts.