The arts world's other great dramatic exits Sir Peter Hall surprised everybody in 1991 by walking out of the artistic directorship of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The management had allowed the avant garde American director Peter Sellars to remove the recitatif from Mozart's The Magic Flute. Sir Peter stormed out of the dress rehearsal on to the Sussex Downs and did not return.

Luke Rittner exited in style from the secretary general's office at the Arts Council in 1990. He called a press conference and won, uniquely, applause from the attending journalists as he said he could no longer serve the council while the Government devolved its responsibilities to new regional boards. He did not mention the fact that he did not get on at all with the new Arts Council chairman, Lord Palumbo. So that must have been totally irrelevant.

Roger Moore walked out of rehearsals for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects Of Love in 1989. The former James Bond had never had to sing as 007. Asked to by Lloyd Webber, he confessed he wasn't really up to it.

Faye Dunaway is suing Lloyd Webber after he removed her from his musical Sunset Boulevard this summer, after he decided her singing wasn't up to it.

Susan Hampshire walked out of rehearsals for Hamlet, directed by Richard Dreyfuss at the Birmingham Old Rep this autumn. Hampshire was to play Gertrude but announced intriguingly that she didn't see eye to eye with the concept of the production. This ga v e rise to box office-swelling rumours of controversy, rape and pillage at Elsinore in the Dreyfuss Hamlet. In the event, the production just proved to be ordinary and not terribly good. Which she probably knew all along.