Taking things for granted is part of human nature. We all do it at times.

It seems a lifetime ago, now, that we were free to come and go as we pleased. But the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic heralded a new, albeit temporary, way of life.

For many, a particular treat was a trip to a theatre - always a place of excitement whatever the production being shown.

That excitement mounts from the minute theatregoers step foot inside. The hubbub of conversations in the foyer as folk collect their tickets, buy programmes and maybe a drink or two and a bite to eat before curtain up.

It’s a social event that brings together all walks of life and throws up some surprising facts. For instance, in my home city of Hull, which more than once in the tabloids has been described as “the worst place in England to live”, with all the connotations that throws up, you would think a ballet production would be laughed out of town.

You would be wrong. Without fail, when any ballet company brings its Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Cinderella or Coppélia - to name just a few - to the Hull New Theatre stage, the venue is packed to the rafters. Every. Single. Time.

Though on a slightly smaller scale, the Hull Truck Theatre has a similar track record and, more often than not, its foyer is a social meeting place where theatregoers can enjoy live music, food and a drink or two, before heading into whatever delight is awaiting them on stage.

Hull City Hall also draws in large audiences for music events for all tastes.

Being a seasoned theatre reviewer, with access to free tickets, I probably didn’t always appreciate how fortunate I was.

The singer Joni Mitchell was right when she sang in her song, Big Yellow Taxi - “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.

Admittedly, our theatres aren’t gone but only temporarily closed to us, though for how long?

With social distancing measures looking set to last for many months yet, and the fact that theatres can only survive economically when the crowds flock to them, their immediate future looks bleak.

However, casting my mind back to a couple of years ago, Hull New Theatre closed its doors for 18 months while a £16m refurbishment was carried out - and we theatregoers survived.

So, I’ve absolutely no doubt that our theatres will survive also - we theatre lovers are a loyal brigade and as soon as those doors re-open, we’ll be there in our droves.

But that is glossing over the serious hardships endured by hardworking staff unable to do what they do best and the huge loss of revenue many theatre companies face as they are unable to bring their expensive-to-make productions to theatres up and down the country.

At the moment, financial and personal worry is like a big, black cloud hanging over everyone involved in theatre land.

It might be that theatres have to write off 2020 and start anew in 2021.

But I’ll bet my bottom dollar that when the curtains eventually do go up in theatres, large and small, nationwide, their foyers will once again buzz with the excitement that only a live production can bring. I can’t wait.

Jackie Foottit