Britannia

Sky Atlantic's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain, starring ZoŽ as vengeful Queen Antedia, returned for a second series on 7 November. Both series are available via Sky and NOW TV.

Worzel Gummidge

ZoŽ plays eccentric aristocrat Lady Bloomsbury Barton in the second episode of the BBCís new adaptation of Barbara Euphan Toddís classic childrenís stories, which aired just after Christmas. It's available via the BBC iPlayer.

Shadow and Bone

ZoŽ recently finished filming this major new fantasy series for Netflix, based on Leigh Bardugoís novels. She's been cast as Baghra, a ruthless teacher. The release date hasn't yet been announced.

Social

Happy 18th birthday, zoewanamaker.com!

30 July 2020 01:45

Happy birthday, zoewanamaker.com! I can hardly believe it, but the official website for ZoŽ Wanamaker fans is now 18 years old.

Sincere thanks to everyone who visits the site, connects with me by email or on Twitter and shares my enthusiasm for ZoŽ's wonderful acting work.

A special shoutout to ZoŽ herself and her PA, Vanessa, for their support and kindness.

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Celebrating the 101st anniversary of Sam Wanamaker's birth

14 June 2020 20:26

Beautiful weather like the UK is currently enjoying is perfect for watching open-air theatre (hopefully it won't be long before we can do that again). How appropriate, then, that 14 June 2020 marks 101 years since ZoŽ's dad and Shakespeare's Globe's founder, Sam Wanamaker, was born.

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Happy Birthday to our founder, Sam Wanamaker, born #OnThisDay 14 June 1919 \ud83c\udf82\ud83e\udd73 On the anniversary of his birth, we\u0026#39;d like to take a moment to thank this extraordinary, visionary man, who dedicated so much of his life to Shakespeare and building our wooden O. We wouldn\u0026#39;t be here without him \u2b55 Photo: Sam stands next to the plaque marking the site of the original Globe Theatre. #ShakespearesGlobe #Shakespeare #GlobeTheatre #ThisWoodenO #SamWanamaker

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The Globe, which had its own birthday just a couple of days ago, is celebrating Sam Wanamaker and his incredible legacy with photos on Instagram and fans' memories on Twitter. One fan describes her parents watching him on stage in 1957 in The Rose Tattoo, a powerful Tennessee Williams play ZoŽ later starred in herself (giving 'the performance of her career', in the Guardian's words).

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On what would have been our founder, Sam Wanamaker\u0026#39;s 101st Birthday, we\u0026#39;d love to hear any memories and stories you may have of him. Here he is in 1989 with a model of our Globe Theatre and Bankside site. \u2b55 Photo: Paul Mellor. #ShakespearesGlobe #Shakespeare #GlobeTheatre #ThisWoodenO #SamWanamaker

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You can read about Sam Wanamaker's many achievements and learn about 'the extraordinary life of one visionary man' in an article on the theatre's blog. His determination was particularly extraordinary, as the article emphasises: 'While many had said that the Globe reconstruction was impossible to achieve, Sam persevered for over twenty years, overcoming a series of monumental obstacles.'

One of his friends, Barry Day, has penned a moving tribute elsewhere on the blog. Again, ZoŽ's dad's determination comes to the fore: 'Samís vision and his single-minded commitment was undoubtedly the driving force that kept the project on track through the decades and propelled it through the ''down'' moments.'

For more insights into how The Globe dream became reality, why not pick up Day's lively book, This Wooden 'O': Shakespeare's Globe Reborn?

A year and a day ago, the first full-length biography of ZoŽ's dad, Sam Wanamaker: A Global Performer by his friend Dr Diana Devlin, was launched at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, The Globe's indoor companion theatre. Guests at the special event included ZoŽ, her elder sister Abby and many other people who knew Sam Wanamaker and are involved with the two theatres.

You can hear from the great man himself, thanks to 'Remembering Sam Wanamaker', an episode of Shakespeare's Globe's Such Stuff podcast series. ZoŽ's dad emphasises: 'Shakespeare belongs to everyone, we know that. And this place [The Globe] will be the centre for the understanding of his works, for helping young people to get over the difficult barriers of language. Welcome. Watch us grow. Weíre going to be here and create and transform the most exciting new area of London and Britain.'

And of course that is exactly what The Globe, its founder and dedicated team have achieved.

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Happy Sam Day one and all! The founder of our Theatre, Sam Wanamaker, would have been 98 today. We have a lot to be thankful to him for. Help us celebrate his birthday by sharing your memories - here\u0026#39;s one of ours: Sam with his daughter, Zoe Wanamaker, in the Forest of Dean with a tree to be turned into timber for the frame of our Globe Theatre, circa 1992. #samwanamaker #happybirthdaysam #shakespeare #shakespearesglobe #globetheatre #memories

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Reconstructing Shakespeare's theatre 'was Dadís project for 27 years [...] the tenacity of the man,' remarked ZoŽ in a recent interview with the Observer.

If youíd like to celebrate Sam Wanamaker and support the amazing theatre he built Ė a registered charity that receives no regular government subsidy Ė at this incredibly challenging time, please consider joining me in donating to The Globe.

What better way to conclude this article than with a portrait of ZoŽ 's dad by the talented amateur artist Gareth Bevan? Fantastic, isn't it!

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Latest drawing. As well as being the hundredth birthday of actor Gene Barry yesterday, actor and director Sam Wanamaker would also have been 100. Working extensively in front of and behind the camera, Wanamaker is also known for being the father of actress Zoe Wanamaker, and for campaigning for the Globe Theatre to be built. Drawn with @penteluk HB and 2B mechanical pencils and Progresso 8B graphite sticks on 130gsm @daler_rowney Smooth Cartridge. #art #artistsofinstagram #artofinstagram #sketchbook #sketch #sketching #draw #drawing #pencil #pencildrawing #portrait #people #face #portraiture #realism #detail #graphite #creative #artistsoninstagram #artist #artistic #artistsoninstagram #artoftheday #actor #film #television #theatre #globetheatre #samwanamaker

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Happy 23rd birthday, Shakespeareís Globe!

12 June 2020 17:55

Today, 12 June, marks 23 years since the theatre ZoŽís dad founded, Shakespeareís Globe in London, was officially opened by the Queen.

The Globe is celebrating its birthday on Twitter with photos from the opening ceremony. ZoŽ became the first person to speak on the stage when she recited the famous ĎO for a Muse of fireí prologue to Henry V (filmed as part of the documentary above). In addition, the theatre is inviting you to share your memories of #ThisWoodenO.

I was fortunate to experience the magic of Shakespeare's Globe soon after it opened, when I was about 12, on a school trip. Most vivid are memories of standing on the stage with friends and looking around in awe. I still have the school project in which I wrote about Sam Wanamaker's tireless work to bring Shakespeareís theatre back to the South Bank.

On The Globeís blog, you can find out how the theatre was built and why itís a building Ďso absolutely unlike any otherí. Look out for the photo of ZoŽís dad watching oak logs being cut to create the beams.

Visit The Globe's Instagram profile to see gems from its archive, such as striking shots of the theatre taking shape on Bankside in the early 1990s.

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It is my (23rd) birth-day! On this day, 12 June 1997, the Globe was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen. Today and over the weekend, we\u0026#39;ll be digging into our archives to uncover some gems. Like this aerial shot of our timber structure starting to take shape on Bankside in 1993. #ShakespearesGlobe #Shakespeare #GlobeTheatre #ThisWoodenO #ViewFromTheGlobe #Bankside

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Iíve found a couple of treasures in my own (no doubt smaller!) archive to share with you on this special day, starting with this lovely photo from 1992. It shows ZoŽ and her dad in Englandís Forest of Dean, which provided wood for the theatreís iconic structure.

With construction well underway, ZoŽ was pictured in 1995 surveying the progress Ė wearing a costume reminiscent of dresses worn by Elizabeth I, who enjoyed Shakespeareís plays and reigned for much of his life.

For obvious reasons, Shakespeareís Globe is currently closed. However, you can take a virtual tour of the theatre and join online events through its website.

If youíd like to support this amazing place Ė a registered charity that receives no regular government subsidy Ė at an incredibly challenging time financially, socially and culturally, please consider making a donation to The Globe. There are plenty of other ways to support the theatre too while we wait for it to reopen.

Letís hope that by the time The Globe turns 24, weíll be able to enjoy inspiring performances, tours, workshops and more there once again.

Happy birthday, Shakespeare's Globe, and many happy returns!

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My Family video: Susan Harperís best moments

12 June 2020 15:37

On Friday evenings, itís always fun to visit the Harper family for some light relief, thanks to the BBCís very welcome My Family reruns. Today, 12 June, UK fans can enjoy series oneís ĎThe Awkward Phaseí (8 pm, BBC One), in which Susan and Benís kids become rebels without a cause.

To help you wind down at the end of a long week, hereís a brilliant video featuring some of ZoŽís zaniest moments from the popular comedy. My talented friend, Rachel, has created it to put a smile on other fansí faces.

Plus some more amusing, never-before-seen outtakes have just been released by the makers of My Family and British Comedy Guide. Enjoy!

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News round-up: celebrating Ariadne Oliver; Shakespeare interview; and good causes

9 June 2020 21:53

In praise of Ariadne Oliver

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Describe Ariadne Oliver in three words \u270d\ufe0f \u2022 \u2022 \u2022 \ud83d\udcf7 Zo\u00eb Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver in Agatha Christie\u2019s Poirot, Cards on the Table #HerculePoirot #AriadneOliver #agathachristie #poirot #zo\u00ebwanamaker

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Hercule Poirotís pal Ariadne Oliver, who was brilliantly brought to life on TV by ZoŽ, is being celebrated by the official Agatha Christie Instagram profile (thanks to fellow fan Leigh for pointing this out to me!).

Fans are being asked to describe Ariadne in a few words Ė ĎFabulously scatter-brainedí is one of the best suggestions Iíve seen so far!

Itís no surprise that the crime novelist, who's partly based on Christie herself, is a popular choice of guest for imaginary dinner parties...

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If you could invite three guests to an imaginary dinner party, who would they be and why? Here\u2019s a few of our suggestions to kick things off... \u270d\ufe0f\ud83c\udfad\ud83d\udd75\ufe0f\u200d\u2640\ufe0f #agathachristie #ariadneoliver #mrquinn #missmarple #dinnerpartyguests #crimefiction

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If you love all things Ariadne, why not (re)discover the Poirot novel Dead Manís Folly, in which she plays a key role? The book, which features a murder hunt game that takes a sinister turn, is the June choice in the Read Christie 2020 challenge.

Whatís more, watching the TV version (thereís a couple of clips below to whet your appetite), in which ZoŽ stars alongside David Suchet, is a great way to spend an evening. It was filmed at Christieís holiday home, Greenway, in Devon.


Living the Shakespearean Life

Another suggestion to keep you entertained during the lockdown is to dive into Living the Shakespearean Life: True Stories by the academic John Boe. It's a collection of inspiring interviews with actors, directors and scholars connected to Shakespeare, including ZoŽ.

While the book was published in 2019 (and very recently came to my attention), Boeís interview with ZoŽ took place much earlier Ė in summer 2010 at Londonís Apollo Theatre, where she was starring in the award-winning revival of Arthur Millerís All My Sons with David Suchet (such a wonderful, golden time).

She was in fact the first person the author spoke to for the book, as he explains in the introduction to the interview. ĎHer graciousness and encouragement made me want to continue the project,í Boe emphasises.

Alluding to its title, ZoŽ remarks in the book that ĎI lived a Shakespearean life for all the time that my father was totally obsessed by The Globe.í Sam Wanamaker had a lifelong enthusiasm for Shakespeareís work, and building the reconstruction of Shakespeareís theatre on Londonís South Bank took him 27 years.

ĎMy father certainly battled for The Globeí, ZoŽ makes clear Ė and Living the Shakespearean Life is dedicated to him.

Discussing her own love of the plays, ZoŽ explains: Ďthe beauty of Shakespeare is that once you get involved in it, like my year at Stratford [with the Royal Shakespeare Company], you understand it like music; there is a secret in Shakespeareís language, like music has a secret, and somebody who knows the secret can play them and make music.í

The result is Ďjust beautifulí.

Environmental Justice Foundation campaign

ZoŽ has been raising awareness on Twitter about the Environmental Justice Foundationís petition to shut down wildlife markets globally forever.

The organisation, which strives to protect people and the planet, points out that ĎCOVID-19 and other zoonotic diseases ≠Ė where the illness jumps from animals to humans Ė have been linked to cruelty-ridden wildlife markets, where rare and endangered animals like pangolins, tigers and bears are kept and sold.í

If youíd like to find out more, check out the campaign video (please be aware it contains some upsetting footage of animals). You may also be interested in donating to the EJF to help the campaign reach more people.

Freedom from Torture petition

Another good cause ZoŽ has recently given her support to is Freedom from Tortureís urgent petition to raise the UKís asylum allowance, so that people on asylum support arenít struggling to live on just £5 per day.

ĎNo one should have to choose between medicine, food, or protection at a time like this,í asserts the charity.

Scenesaver in the spotlight

ZoŽ is helping to champion a new website, Scenesaver, which gives actors the chance to showcase their work and theatre fans plenty of Off-West End and international fringe theatre performances to watch at home.

Itís a great way to enjoy and support theatre during the lockdown.

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