Killing Eve

ZoŽ appears in the second series of this darkly comic drama about the cat-and-mouse game between an intelligence agent and notorious assassin. It comes to BBC One and the iPlayer on 8 June.

Two Ladies

The world premiere of Nancy Harris' play, which stars ZoŽ as the wife of a head of state during a major crisis, will be staged at London's Bridge Theatre from 14 September to 26 October.


Sky's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain, starring ZoŽ as vengeful Queen Antedia, returns for a second series this autumn.


In celebration of Sam Wanamakerís centenary

14 June 2019 21:47

Shakespeareís Globe is today celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Sam Wanamaker CBE. The theatre has been sharing insights about the life and career of ZoŽís dad, who was an accomplished actor and director, on social media. You can join the discussion and share your own memories by using the hashtag #Wanamaker100.

Yesterday, The Globeís companion theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, hosted the annual Sam Wanamaker Fellowship Lecture, which was introduced by the Director of Education, Patrick Spottiswoode. Fittingly, the subject was Zoe's dad himself. The Deputy Chair of Shakespeareís Globe Council, Dr Diana Devlin, addressed an enthusiastic audience - including many people who had known Sam Wanamaker and are involved with The Globe - about his many achievements in theatre.

Having been a long-time friend and colleague of ZoŽís dad, Dr Devlin spoke knowledgeably about his commitment to Ďbelievable, meaningfulí performances and talent for inspiring other performers. His vision and attention to detail led to a new dawn in British theatre during the fifties.

Dr Devlin pointed out that Sam Wanamakerís desire to rebuild Shakespeareís Globe on London's south bank didnít stem solely from his awareness of the historical significance of our greatest writerís theatre. ZoŽís dad felt that the open-air performance space, supported by an indoor Jacobean-style theatre, educational work and related activities, would also have immense value as a community arts hub.

As Dr Devlin explained, Sam Wanamaker was convinced that plays performed in a recognisably Shakespearean theatre would Ďspeak powerfully and directly to a modern playgoerí. And, of course, heís been proved right.

The launch of Sam Wanamaker's first biography

ZoŽ was joined by her elder sister, Abby, at the special event. In addition to the lecture, the evening saw the launch of the first full-length, illustrated biography of its subject. Sam Wanamaker: A Global Performer has been written by Dr Devlin and is published by performing arts specialist Oberon Books.

As its author emphasised, the book aims to highlight Sam Wanamakerís work on stage and screen, in addition to celebrating his tireless struggle to rebuild Shakespeareís theatre.

That struggle is something the actor Keith Baxter remembers well. The Telegraph has today republished his poignant account of his friendship with Sam Wanamaker, written in 1996.

'It is difficult to express how much pleasure it was just to be with him,' Baxter writes. 'And no-one could be with him for a moment without being swept away by his enthusiasm, by his passionate conviction that he had been vouchsafed a task which must be completed, no matter what it cost.'

The Globe's 22nd anniversary

The centenary of Sam Wanamakerís birth comes just days after The Globe marked another milestone: its 22nd anniversary. On 12 June 1997, ZoŽ became the first person to speak on the stage. During the official opening ceremony, she performed the Prologue to Henry V in the presence of the Queen and Prince Philip, as featured in the documentary below.

The anniversary reminds me of this lovely photo of ZoŽ and her dad from 1992, which The Globe shared online a couple of years ago. Theyíre pictured in the Forest of Dean alongside one of the oak trees that would be used to build the theatre, which is nicknamed the Wooden O.

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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

A post shared by Shakespeare\u0026#39;s Globe (@the_globe) on

Fundraising for The Globe's future

As well as looking back over its founderís achievements and 22 years of amazing productions, Shakespeareís Globe is looking to the future. The theatre has launched the Sam Wanamaker centenary fundraising campaign, with the aim of raising £100,000 to continue the incredible work its founder began for the benefit of the millions of theatregoers it entertains and inspires.

ZoŽ appears in this short video designed to raise awareness of the campaign, celebrating her dadís achievements and thanking those who support The Globe.

If youíd like to play a part in the theatreís future, you can make a donation on Shakespeareís Globeís website.

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News round-up: ZoŽ on stage, Killing Eve UK air date, Refugee Week portrait and more

31 May 2019 02:43

Wow, it's been an incredibly busy few weeks for ZoŽ Wanamaker fans, as this huuuge news update makes clear.

ZoŽ returns to the theatre for Two Ladies

The Bridge Theatre in London has announced that ZoŽ will make her first appearance there later in the year, starring in Two Ladies. This will be the world premiere of Nancy Harrisí new play focused on the wives of heads of state. It has the intriguing tagline ĎKeep your enemies close, and your wives closer.í

The women of the title are the (fictional) First Ladies of France and the US. Politics gets personal when ZoŽís character, HťlŤne, comes face-to-face with Sophia (played by Zrinka Cviteöic). Hereís a brief summary from the theatre:

'As their husbands clash over an international crisis, the first ladies of France and America find themselves alone together in a side room.

'Friends, or enemies? When the stakes are so high, can they trust each other?

'Can they trust their husbands?'

The news that ZoŽ is returning to the stage following the success of Pinterís The Birthday Party in 2018 has been warmly received by the press and fans alike.

Two Ladies sees ZoŽ reunited with her friend Nicholas Hytner, a director sheís worked with on a number of previous plays, most recently the acclaimed and well-remembered revival of Much Ado About Nothing, just over ten years ago.

The play is due to have a limited run of around six weeks. Previews begin on 14 September, with the opening night scheduled for the 25th. Performances continue until 26 October.

If youíre a Priority Member of the Bridge Theatre, you can buy Two Ladies tickets now. Advance Members can do so from 4 June and everyone else from 5 June.

Killing Eve series two begins 8 June

Fantastic news for UK fans! As reported by the Radio Times, the eagerly awaited second series of thriller Killing Eve begins on 8 June (BBC One, 9:15pm).

Immediately afterwards, the full series will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer. That means we donít have long to wait to enjoy Zoeís star turn in episode four, ĎDesperate Timesí, as a senior Ė and irate Ė spy boss, Helen Jacobson.

The series has already delighted viewers in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

New portrait for Refugee Week

A brilliant new portrait of ZoŽ by talented photographer Jillian Edelstein appears in You, Me and Those Who Came Before, an exhibition created for Refugee Week 2019, the UKís largest festival celebrating the contribution refugees make to society.

The photo is one of a series featuring prominent first and second-generation refugees. It appears on some of the Refugee Week leaflets, posters and postcards designed to help you promote the festival, which runs from 17-23 June, and any related events in your community.

In its preview of You, Me and Those Who Came Before, the Guardian noted that ĎZoŽ Wanamaker was three when her family came to Britain to escape McCarthyism in the US. Her father, Sam Wanamaker, went on to found Shakespeareís Globe theatre, while ZoŽ became an award-winning actorí.

The exhibition previewed at Londonís Tate Exchange towards the end of May, and there are two more chances to see it in the Capital. From 17-23 June (i.e. during Refugee Week), it can be seen in the V&A Museumís main entrance, as well as at the Southbank Centre (where the portraits will be projected onto the side of the building).

On a related note, Shakespeare's Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will host a series of special performances for Refugee Week.

Talk at the prestigious Oxford Union

Oxford University students were treated to a Q&A with ZoŽ on 29 May, when she made a welcome return to Oxford Union, the prestigious debating society.

The Union shared extracts from the conversation and photos via Twitter.

Bees for Development charity auction

ZoŽ is among dozens of public figures whoíve created bee-inspired, postcard-sized artworks for the Bees for Development charity auction. The artworks are being auctioned anonymously Ė can you guess which one is Zoeís?

Bees for Development helps impoverished families in countries such as Ethiopia and Ghana to earn a living through sustainable bee-keeping while benefitting the environment.

You have until 7:30 pm (UK time) on 12 June to place your bids. Good luck!

ZoŽ voices Prostate Cancer UK advert

Speaking poignant lines from Hamlet about the nobility of man, ZoŽ provides the voiceover for the charity Prostate Cancer UKís powerful advert.

Featuring footage of prostate cancer patients and the families of those affected, the advert premiered on 14 May and is accompanied by the social media hashtag #MenWeAreWithYou.

ĎOur main aim with this campaign is to inspire people to join with us and be a part of solving the problem Ė stopping a man dying every 45 minutes from prostate cancer,í the charity emphasises. ĎAnd not just because the disease is so devastating, but because what it can take from us Ė the value of men and their lives Ė is so great.í

Zoeís beautiful voiceover will help to ensure that the ad is one people wonít forget.

Celebrating Dame Gillian Lynne

ZoŽ and her PA, Vanessa, have drawn attention to a forthcoming celebration of the late Dame Gillian Lynneís illustrious career, To Gillie, With Love, which is due to be held on 2 July in London. Lynne worked on the RSCís Once in a Lifetime (1979), for which ZoŽ won her first Olivier award.

The event will also launch the Lynne and Land Foundation, which Lynne and her husband, Peter Land, established to enable talented young performers to achieve their potential with the help of scholarships and bursaries.

To Gillie, With Love will be held at the theatre named after the dancer, choreographer and director on Drury Lane. Tickets are available now.

Pictured with artist Philip Sutton

And finally, here's a lovely, playful photo of Zoe and her friend Philip Sutton RA. It was taken when she opened the popular artistís My Shakespeare exhibition at Dorsetís Bridport Arts Centre in March but not published online till just recently.

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Birthday wishes for ZoŽ!

13 May 2019 00:13

Sending all good wishes to the one and only ZoŽ Wanamaker Ė sheís every bit as talented, kind, witty and compassionate as you could wish an actress you admire to be.

Happy birthday, ZoŽ, and many happy returns!

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News round-up: Rosmersholmís red carpet, Killing Eve praise and Cambridge Union update

2 May 2019 21:09

On Rosmersholmís red carpet

Hereís ZoŽ and her husband, Gawn Grainger, on the red carpet today at Rosmersholmís opening night in Londonís West End. Ibsenís masterpiece, newly adapted by Duncan Macmillan, is being staged at the Duke of Yorkís Theatre and stars Tom Burke, Hayley Atwell and Giles Terera.

Rosmersholmís director is Ian Rickson, who you may remember worked with ZoŽ on the hugely successful 2018 West End revival of Pinterís The Birthday Party.

More praise for ZoŽ in Killing Eve

Entertainment website Culturess has responded enthusiastically to the introduction of quirky Helen Jacobson, Ďplayed by the always amazing Zoe Wanamakerí, in Killing Eve episode four, ĎDesperate Timesí.

The article highlights the female-centric dramaís refreshing gender dynamics, remarking that ĎHelen has a male receptionist... and anger problemsí, the latter being a trait often associated with male bosses on screen.

British newspaper The Telegraph is also keeping an eye on the BBC America show, remarking that ĎDesperate Timesí was Ďenlivened by a cameo from ZoŽ Wanamakerí.

Zoe has made a big impression on Decider, a TV and film resource: it calls her performance 'fantastic [and] immediately three-dimensionalí.

Update on ZoŽís Cambridge talk

Zoeís talk at the prestigious Cambridge Union, originally scheduled for 1 May, has been postponed.

Iíll let you know when I hear more.

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Praise for ZoŽís Ďdelightfully furiousí performance in Killing Eveís latest episode

30 April 2019 21:31

ĎDesperate Timesí, the fourth episode in the second series of BBC Americaís darkly comic thriller Killing Eve, premiered in the US on 28 April. ZoŽís performance as a quirky Ė and irate Ė senior British intelligence official, Helen Jacobson, has made a big impression on TV reviewers and viewers alike.

Press coverage of ĎDesperate Timesí is full of praise for Zoe and the programme as a whole (if you havenít watched it yet, please note that the articles linked to below include spoilers).

A mini-Harry Potter cast reunion delighted Entertainment Weekly: Ďwhen Carolyn Martens [played by Fiona Shaw] enters an office at the start of this weekís episode, the supervisor sheís meeting is played by none other than ZoŽ Wanamaker, Hogwartsí greatest flying instructor. Aunt Petunia, meet Madam Hooch!í The article goes on to highlight Helenís Ďunhinged rageí and choice language.

Zoeís screen time with Shaw also provided a Gormenghast reunion (they played the eccentric Clarice Groan and Irma Prunesquallor, respectively, in the TV epic).

TV Insider enjoyed Zoeís Ďdelightfully furiousí performance. 'In an episode of contrasts,í the article emphasised, ĎHelenís unconfined rage made for an excellent complement to Carolynís permanently unfazed demeanor.í

The encounter between Carolyn and her boss has also captured the attention of Killing Eveís loyal audience.

Zoeís appearance in 'Desperate Times' may have been brief, but it's certainly memorable.

UK fans (like me!) will be able to watch the show some time after the full second series has aired in the US. Broadcast and iPlayer boxset dates for the UK havenít yet been announced by the BBC.

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