Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one and two are streaming now on Netflix.

The Cleaner

Zoë guest stars in an episode in the second series of BBC One's black comedy about a crime scene cleaner, called 'The Statue', which is available on the BBC iPlayer.

Black Ops

Zoë guest stars in BBC One's six-part comedy thriller about two Police Community Support Officers working undercover. Begins 5 May, BBC One, 9:30pm.

Criminal Record

Zoë plays the mother of a young detective reinvestigating an old murder case in this crime drama series for Apple TV+. Filming began in summer 2022.

Social

Rare showing of Memento Mori on BBC Four

1 February 2024 16:01

As I type, I’m unsure if these words will appear on zoewanamaker.com or not. Technical problems that followed a PHP upgrade last autumn made updating the website impossible until now (perhaps...). Thanks to fantastic work from my IT support team (otherwise known as my brother, who also built the site), I’ve at least reached the point at which I can try to add news and hope Zoë Wanamaker fans will be able to read it.

Being forced to take a three-month break from this 21-year-old project resulted in a strange sense of loss and grief. So it’s oddly appropriate that the first news article I need to write after that break covers Memento Mori, the 1992 comedy-drama adapted from Muriel Spark’s novel of the same name, in which Zoë stars alongside a host of other fabulous actors – Michael Hordern, Maggie Smith, Thora Hird, Stephanie Cole, Maurice Denham, Renée Asherson (the list goes on)... And don’t worry, the story isn’t half as grim as the title might lead you to expect!

This delightful, poignant programme was produced for the Screen Two series of thought-provoking one-off dramas. On 17 January, BBC Four viewers were treated to a rare showing of it – the first time Memento Mori has been repeated by the broadcaster in all these years. The memento mori (or ‘reminder of death’) takes the form of a series of eerie, bizarre phone calls received by a diverse group of elderly folk in 1950s London. Each call delivers the same message: ‘remember you must die’, though the recipients have rather different reactions to those words. Some are troubled; others brush them off.

Zoë’s character, Olive Mannering, is the attractive, savvy granddaughter of one of the group’s members, rambunctious poet Percy Mannering, who’s barely got a penny to his name. Olive knows one of Percy’s well-off pals has a taste for stockings and French music – and she also knows exactly how to use that knowledge to earn a little money for her granddad. Later in the story, it becomes apparent she’s willing to go to even greater lengths to secure his financial future, as well as her own.

It’s Olive who sums up the group at the heart of Memento Mori best. ‘They can be a bit overwhelming, can’t they, especially when you first meet them? But they sort of grow on you.’ Indeed, I can almost guarantee you’ll care about all of those eccentric, entertaining characters by the end of the programme, while wondering how on earth she puts up with them!

Don’t miss your chance to (re)discover Memento Mori - it’s on the BBC iPlayer for the next couple of weeks.

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New video: Zoë interviewed by Matthew Rolland

16 October 2023 15:22

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have a relaxed, wide-ranging chat with Zoë, her new – and thoroughly enjoyable – interview with hospital radio presenter Matthew Rolland is for you.

They discuss how Zoë feels about acting in theatre, film and TV (‘each medium has its own techniques and its own limitations,’ she explains), as well as how much she values colleagues who have a great sense of humour and a great deal of honesty. I was particularly struck by her description of the strong connection between actors who’ve worked together – this ‘bond’ is built on the ‘excitement of knowing you’ve shared something’ on stage or screen.

As you may know, Zoë has dyslexia, and she shares her tips for learning lines. As she points out, ‘calming down and not reading too fast’ is key.

She also reflects on the decrease in arts funding and the increase in theatre ticket prices. She makes clear that watching stories unfold on stage is engaging and life-enhancing, so is saddened by the fact many parents can’t afford to take their children to see plays these days.

The conversation is one of the most recent instalments in Rolland’s Isolation Interviews series, which features famous guests from around the world and began during lockdown.

Zoë reads Harry Potter to schoolchildren

It’s clear from her interview with Matthew Rolland that Zoë believes being immersed in culture and literature is vitally important for the development of young minds. So when she was invited to open the fantastic new library at Burbage Primary School in Wiltshire last month, she was delighted to show her support.

As reported by the local press, the school’s lucky competition winners enjoyed a day they’ll never forget. They got to hear Zoë, who’s known to millions as Quidditch instructor Madam Hooch, read an extract from the Harry Potter books.

Teacher Emma Miles certainly gave her special guest top marks. She emphasised that ‘Zoë was captivating’, answering questions and offering advice to help the children become more confident readers and develop their ‘performance voice’.

Reminder: The Space interview

If you’ve managed to bag tickets for Zoë’s interview with Brighton arts strand The Space on Thursday 19 October, you’ll no doubt enjoy hearing what she has to say too.

Although the event has now sold out, you can head to The Space’s website to contact the organiser regarding any last-minute places becoming available.

If you’ll be in the audience, have a brilliant time!

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Zoë – and this website – at 21

16 August 2023 17:37

As zoewanamaker.com’s regular visitors will know, the website recently celebrated its 21st birthday (hooray and oh, my goodness!)

That milestone got me thinking... Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see Zoë around the age of 21, when she was at the very beginning of her professional acting career?

To that end, Zoë and her PA, Vanessa, have kindly provided a lovely photo from that exciting time in her life. Here’s Zoë as a fledgling actress with so many wonderful roles on the horizon. (You can click on the image to see a larger version.)

And to round off this article, here’s a photo that’ll be of much less interest to Zoë’s fans, but it felt fitting to include it. The photo shows me at 21, just after I’d finished my final exams at university. I’d only been running the website for four years at that point. Time flies!

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Brighton's arts strand The Space to interview Zoë

31 July 2023 13:13

Zoë Wanamaker fans in the Brighton area of the UK will want to make sure Thursday 19 October is highlighted in their diaries. Excitingly, on that date Zoë will be interviewed for The Space, the collective name for a series of arts, culture and media happenings held in the city.

The event will start at 7:30pm; the venue is Brighton's Latest Music Bar. According to The Space's website, Zoe's interview will be pretty informal and followed by a Q&A session with input from the audience. So if there's something you'd love to ask Zoë, this is your chance!

Her fellow interviewee at the event will be Harvey Goldsmith, the well-known performing arts promoter. The Space's creator and culture expert, Wayne Imms, will be the interviewer.

Tickets are on sale now (scroll down The Space's homepage to find the details).

With thanks to Vanessa for her help

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21 years of zoewanamaker.com

30 July 2023 10:18

Today, 30 July 2023, marks a real milestone for zoewanamaker.com. The website has reached the grand old age of 21! It’s now several years older than I was when I started beavering away on this project in 2002. Can’t quite get my head around how much time has passed.

In that time, I’ve collected a great deal of material related to Zoë’s wonderful, varied career (with the aim of sharing much of it with you all on this site). To celebrate zoewanamaker.com’s 21st anniversary, below is a recent addition to the archive: a group of lovely press photos from that fan favourite, Love Hurts, the early 90s BBC drama in which Zoë starred with the late, great Adam Faith.

All that remains is for me to say a sincere thank you to Zoë, her PA Vanessa, my long-suffering family and every fan who visits this site.

Liz xx

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Most images used on this site are the copyright of their photographer, Ms. Wanamaker, and/or the production company of the show. Use of these images is covered under the fair use limitation in the USA, and the fair dealing limitaton in the UK.
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