Cultural life: Diana Quick, actress

'I adored the botanitcal artist Rory McEwan's show at Kew Gardens'

Films

I loved Dirty Wars on the expansion of the US covert operations in the name of the so-called war on terror.

My best film of the year is Rafea: Solar Mama about a Bedouin woman learning to be a solar engineer, which I saw at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty is an entrancing and dry study of a man on his 65th birthday, and it made me want to go to Italy immediately.

Books

I'm just finishing The Children's Book by A S Byatt. My research degree was about alternative movements at the turn of the Victorian age into the 20th century, and she captures it wonderfully. The Discovery of France by Graham Robb is teaching me lots about a country I've long loved, but realise I didn't really know.

Music

I'm listening to The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait by Bob Dylan, which includes the whole 1969 Isle of Wight concert. And I'm listening to Britten's Cello Suites played by Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Visual Arts

I adored the botanitcal artist Rory McEwan's show at Kew Gardens. Also, the Walpole collection of paintings sold by Sir Robert Walpole to Catherine the Great, are currently on loan back to Houghton Hall in Norfolk.

Diana Quick appears in 'The American Plan', Theatre Royal, Bath ( www.theatreroyal.org.uk) to 6 April  and the Aldeburgh Documentary festival runs 15-17 November ( www.aldeburghcinema.co.uk/

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