Cultural Life: Samantha Womack, actress

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The Independent Culture

Opera: I managed to get to the English National Opera's 'Two Boys' at the Coliseum last month. I'd always thought of opera as being so traditional and theatrical, but they really made it feel modern with the language they used. The internet culture particularly created an unusual dynamic; it was quite worrying at times, the way a young boy could create all these personalities online.

Books: I've got into Swedish thrillers lately and I loved 'Shadow' by Karin Alvtegen. It's quite dark, but what I like about novels is the way they allow you to get stuck right in to one character for hours at a time. I've also just reread Khaled Hosseini's 'The Kite Runner' for the first time in eight years, which was nice because although it's fundamentally a love story it also paints a wonderful picture of Afghanistan, which has changed so much since I last read it.

Films: 'Blue Valentine' was the last film I saw that I really enjoyed. It's the beautifully sad story of the breakdown of a relationship. It had a very European feel and Michelle Williams was fantastic in it. Oh yes, and I saw the new 'Harry Potter' with my daughter one evening when I was exhausted after rehearsals.

Music: I was supposed to be going to Crosby, Stills and Nash at the Royal Albert Hall, but I couldn't make it so my husband ended up going with someone else. I was gutted to miss it, but apparently they were very good. I did see Ron Sexsmith at the Barbican, which was great. He's like a young Bob Dylan crossed with Gerry Rafferty; he's brilliant. He seemed so uncomfortable, almost apologetic, onstage but then he started singing with this incredible, melancholy voice and it left me speechless.

'South Pacific', Barbican, London EC2 (0845 120 7550) to 1 October; then touring