With even the festival brochure calling this ‘a feat of endurance’, the temptation on a scorching bank holiday was to head for the beach instead.

But there were rich rewards to be reaped for those who opted for this esoteric all-day experience in the top room of a pub – albeit it a sumptuously furnished one - over a dip in the sea.

Actor Simon Butteriss simply took out a well-thumbed paperback and read, over four hours, Albert Camus’ philosophical argument The Myth of Sisyphus.

And what a brilliant, insightful and witty argument it was – of how a man who strives for no purpose is the happiest of all - being one of the great 20th century essays on the meaning of life.

Sisyphus is condemned to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it come crashing down and to start over again, incessantly. He is though, master of his rock and his destiny, Camus argues, and the feat, although absurd, brings contentment.

With every line, it seemed, came a revelation, with Betteriss the perfect reader to convey the French philosopher’s beautifully honed language.

He rarely faltered, and kept up an animated, spirited delivery throughout, gently commanding our full attention to such important, impassioned words.

There was no mid-afternoon nodding off to be had here when life and death was being dissected and Western philosophy was being systematically dismantled. We went blinking out into the sun, enriched and challenged.

Susan Gilson