Performing a one-hour monologue always strikes me as an impressive feat. Whether it is a comedy stand-up routine, a play, a political speech or a lecture, the Blog is always impressed with the feat of memory. Especially when it is a well-known text like a theatre classic, where the audience knows it well, so it has to be word perfect.
Newsreaders, politicians, film actors who read from screen, notes or bullet points, or film just small chunks at a time - that's no big deal. Of course a pretty face, a strong delivery, good timing - they all count for something, but it is the act of delivering from memory without prompts that inspires admiration.
The joint top news item in Scotland (along with the North Sea oil spill) this week is that Brad Pitt is in Glasgow filming the zombie film "World War Z", and the whole country is swooning in adoration, I gather from the newstands of Edinburgh. From the pages of coverage in the Scotsman, it seems that he is not expected to memorise more than a few minutes' dialogue at a time, but then he is Brad Pitt, so who cares?