Watching a young group in a studio production recently, I was impressed by the quality that shone out.
As long as this kind of talent keeps emerging, amateur theatre will have nothing to worry about.
But with the delight came the reservations - and I'm afraid they take me back to my oft-expressed misgivings about what we're doing to this wonderful language of ours. Several times, it was impossible to avoid the realisation that these young people were falling into the same sorts of traps that ensnare actors of all ages, all over the country.
So we heard mischievous spoken as if it rhymed with devious, and noblesse oblige had clearly been fitted with an unexpected acute accent. Sedentary came up with the stress on its second syllable - as indeed did inventory, which should rhyme with infantry and actually has nothing whatever to do with invent; and our old friend drawing was, it seemed inevitably, provided with an R in its middle.
This was but the tip of the iceberg of mispronunciation with which theatre, both amateur and professional, is bedevilled.
Theatre has adopted the tendency to pronounce research with the accent on the first syllable, American-style. From time to time, we hear that restaurateur has been provided with an N that turns its rat into a rant, which is what Gordon Ramsey, not entirely unknown for rants, always does.
Then there is controversy, always in danger of being given an accentuated second syllable. And somebody, somewhere, ought to make it clear that says rhymes with Des and Les, not with days and lays.
Mispronunciations are by no means confined to the younger generation of actors. As far as I have been able to ascertain, everybody's at it, including some professionals - which makes me think that it would not be a bad idea if drama schools made a point of devoting occasional classes to the linguistic pitfalls that await the unwary - and then send them off with a list on which to practise when they graduate.
Words that lie in wait for them in their life among the luvvies include communal, which should have its first syllable, not its second, accentuated; and irrevocable, which seems very often to pivot around that central O instead of stressing its second syllable.
An actor's responsibilities don't end with learning his lines. He must also learn to speak them. Something should be done urgently to safeguard a language that already has enough to contend with in the form of estuary English, glottal stops and grunts.
Talking about which, I see that A-level students are to be offered the opportunity to add to their fragile educational armoury by taking an exam on what it's like to be a teenager. While theatre and literature generally struggle to get a look in, this comes under the heading of Culture.
Who's going to be surprised if many of the grateful students respond in txt-spk? After all, a vast number won't be able to write until they have their remedial English classes at university, if they bother to turn up.
A spokeswoman for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance said, "Communication and culture is a dynamic area of study with a strong contemporary orientation."
Plural subject, singular verb. Good for her.
* Birmingham's Crescent Theatre has something out of the ordinary to offer, opening on Saturday.
Jonathan Harvey's play, Beautiful Thing, caused a stir in July 1993 when it opened at the Bush Theatre in London. It went on to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End in the following year.
It is the story of a disruptive neighbourhood where two 16-year-olds fall in love. There's a girl who constantly plays truant from school and a boy who tries to cope with his abusive father. Oh, yes, those 16-year-olds: they're both boys.
Beautiful Thing will run until the end of next week.
* Kidderminster's Nonentitities are so taken with Outside Edge, the cricketing comedy by Richard Harris, that this week finds them playing their third innings.
Newcomers to the group, though not to the stage, are Lisa Smith, Hayley Jordan, Lucy Charlotte Webb and Dave Clarke. They are joined by Nonentities stalwarts Bob Graham, Richard Taylor, Steve Coussens and Tom Oakley.
The fun is directed by Graham Orr and runs until Saturday at the Rose Theatre, Kidderminster.
* Worcester's Swan Theatre plans to launch acting and musical drama workshops for children and young people for five days in August.
One-hour acting workshops for five-to-nine-year-olds will be held in the morning for five days from Monday, August 11, and there will be two-hour sessions for nine-to-12-year-olds during the same period.
A three-hour session in musical drama, directed at the 13-18 age group, will run for five afternoons in the same week. email@example.com
* WHAT'S ON
* Outside Edge, The Nonentities, Rose Theatre, Kidderminster (to Saturday).
Oysters and Snails, Fellowship Players, Grange Playhouse, Walsall (to Saturday).
Buddy, Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company, Lichfield Garrick (to Saturday).
Journey's End, Wythall Theatre Company, Dovehouse Theatre, Solihull (to Saturday).
Beautiful Thing, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham (June 14-21.
Journey's End, Wythall Theatre Company, Dovehouse Theatre, Solihull (June 11-14). Crescent Theatre, Birmingham (June 14-21).
Comic Potential, Highbury Little Theatre, Sutton Coldfield (June 17-28).
Albert, Make Us Laugh, Circle Players, Aldridge Youth Theatre (June 18-21).
Private Lives, Sutton Arts Theatre, Sutton Coldfield (June 19-28).