The remarkable representation of cerebral palsy that was the riveting feature of last week's production of Marat/Sade by second-year students of the Birmingham School of Acting was in fact only the tip of the iceberg.
For Jenny Basford, playing Simone, the dreadfully afflicted inmate of the lunatic asylum whose inmates were presenting a play, there were practical preparations even before rehearsals started. And the results were quite astonishing.
Here was an appallingly pigeon-toed, shuffling unfortunate with a head and body that never stopped twitching. One arm remained angled across her chest, with the hand bent over into the wrist; the other arm, held eternally upright from the elbow, was topped by twisting, tormented fingers at which she gazed with hapless eyes.
When she spoke, it was a stumbling, staccato delivery that struggled to reveal the thoughts inside a clear but tortured brain.
It was a performance, moreover, that lasted for 85 minutes before the interval and a further 25 minutes afterwards, and it was brilliant. That is not a word to be used lightly and it is not accustomed to climbing out of my theatrical vocabulary - but this was something quite extraordinary. And for 22-year-old Jenny it was utterly deserved, not only on the night but on the strength of what had gone before.
She told me: "In the script, the only clue I had for my illness was that it described it as jerky. I discussed it with my director and I began to research cerebral palsy on the internet. There's a girl in my year who has nursed people with cerebral palsy, and I spoke to a nurse whose daughter has got it.
"This was brilliant, because all the questions I had got were answered. She wanted to help me with it because she wanted me to give a sensible and realistic portrayal - and I wanted to give a truthful performance and not cheapen the illness.
"The big misconception is that people assume you're mentally retarded as well, but you're not at all. You are just trapped in a body that doesn't work like you want it to work. When I had to walk, I got frustrated with myself because I wanted to walk faster."
The company had about 16 hours a week in four-hour slots in which to acclimatise to the various portrayals that were required of each member, but Jenny's hyperactive fingers did not begin to hurt until full rehearsals started.
Fortunately, the pain disappeared before first night, though she says she felt "strange" because she had been exercising in such an odd way.
She's a lassie from Lancashire who auditioned for three years before finding her way on to a drama course. But now she's there, she has grabbed the chance in both those convincingly contorted hands.
* Still with the Birmingham School of Acting, I am possibly not alone in wondering what is the significance of the title Marat/Sade. Thanks to last week's programme, I now know that it is the abbreviation of what is one of the world's longest labels.
When it comes up with the full works, it is The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of Monsieur de Sade.
That puts it well ahead of the Farndale series of comedies, by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr, all of which start with The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Production of. . . and end with Murder at Checkmate Manor or any of the many other titles in the canon.
* What's the connection between Moliere and My Fair Lady? Or, more specifically, between Miles Madison, who translated Moliere's Tartuffe, and the blockbuster musical based on Shaw's Pygmalion?
It is presumably entirely coincidental, but the link is words - or, rather, Words, words, words!
I have lost count of how many times I have heard an Eliza erupt with that three-syllable explosion at the start of the number in which she expresses her frustration at having seen Professor Higgins accumulating all the accolades for her transformation from Cockney flower seller to star of the ball.
But, never having seen Tartuffe before, I was intrigued to hear the same exclamation - not once, but three times, on the first night of Highbury Little Theatre's splendid production last week.
And my already-elevated eyebrow moved up another notch when there was a reference to 'a right and proper thing' - bringing instantly to mind Alfred Doolittle's rumbustious song, With a Little Bit of Luck, also in My Fair Lady. I'm intrigued.
Tartuffe continues until Saturday.
* There was a happy gesture by Old-bury Repertory Players at the end of each performance of Time and the Conways. Season ticket holders were invited each night to an after-show reception.
Chairman Doreen Bastable said, "We thought it was a way of saying Thank you to the people who give us such good support."
It would also have reinforced the existing happy rapport between the players and the patrons.
* The trouble with websites is that you do have to keep them up to date.
Bournville Musical Theatre Company's cyberspatial announcement says that chorus men are required for Oklahoma! and that rehearsals are on Thursday evenings.
New recruits will have to assimilate a lot tomorrow night. The show starts at the Crescent Theatre on Tuesday next week.