Arts and Entertainment From left to right: Felicity Denham (last seen by Covers shivering in the freezing cold press tent at the Hay Literary Festival), Becky Short, Daniel Freeman, Tory Lyne-Pirkis (who knows the rules of polo and makes a freakishly good Queen), Steven Williams (CEO), Fiona Marsh and Tony Mulliken (chairman, aka the Prince of Wales)

What's really going on in the world of books

Leading Article: Small country, not many celebrities

WHY DO we not like Belgium? Frequently over the past week it has seemed that the principal objection in Britain to the appointment of Jean-Luc Dehaene as president of the European Commission has been not his politics, nor even his wide girth, but, for some reason, his very Belgian-ness.

Hold your piece: If you recognise their voice, they're not doing their job. Jasper Rees on the mellifluous, sensitive, altruistic art of the documentary voiceover

In the worst nightmare of Mark Halliley, millions of viewers watch a documentary because it is narrated by Mark Halliley. The name may be unfamiliar, and so is the voice, but if you've ever watched Cutting Edge the chances are you've heard him. While all around were losing their heads in The Impossible Job, the gripping story of Graham Taylor, Halliley was keeping his in a narration characterised by neutral tones and isolated calm. The same went for Exposure, the hair-raising film about John Ridgway's survival course for executives. This was a voice you'd never spot in a crowd, 'a Home Counties middle of the road voice', says its owner. 'I'm not a voice that people particularly notice and that's why they like it.'

How was it for you?

DAVID SUCHET is taking his socks off after his performance in Oleanna, David Mamet's play of sexual polemics at the Duke of York's in London. He is slightly out of breath. 'Drink?' He pours me a glass of white wine. Behind him, a toupee sits on a head block. 'Because I wear a wig for the show,' he says, 'some people in the audience aren't quite sure if it's me. Particularly if they know me from Poirot. where I appear as a bald man who weighs about 15 stone. I can hear people whispering to one another in the front row, asking if it's really me.

The Sunday Preview: The five best plays

Oleanna (Royal Court, 071-730 1745, to 21 Aug). Cult anti-feminist piece with unmissable performances by Lia Williams and David Suchet.

THEATRE / Dramatically incorrect: Paul Taylor on the British premiere of David Mamet's controversial Oleanna, at the Royal Court, London

DAVID MAMET once published an essay in Playboy entitled 'In the company of men', which aired his enthusiasm for the all-male society found in such activities as shooting, hunting, gambling and boxing. Reading reports from New York about the rabidly gender- polarised response to his latest play, Oleanna (which deals with the problem of political correctness on campus and a false sexual harassment charge) you felt it was perhaps just as well the dramatist had this taste for men- only milieux to fall back on. It certainly sounded as though he might soon be free to indulge it on an uninterrupted basis.

Obituary: Frieda Hodgson

Frieda Lierman, drama teacher, born London 29 March 1901, LAMDA Adjudicator 1943, staff 1945-75, married 1926 Tommy Hodgson (died 1982; four sons, one daughter), died Hersham Surrey 5 October 1992.
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