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


The Birthday Party in rehearsals, Britannia release date, Girlfriends photos and much more!

5 December 2017 21:31

There's been an extraordinary, dizzying amount of news over the past few weeks or so (my head's still spinning!). Much of it suggests that 2018 will be a particularly exciting year for ZoŽ and her fans.

There's so much to look forward to; I've done my very best to bring together all the relevant details here, so you won't miss a thing...

ZoŽ sparkles at ES Theatre Awards

On 3 December, ZoŽ and her husband Gawn Grainger attended the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. They were photographed looking fantastic on the red carpet for Getty Images and Zimbio. In fact, one of the shots made it onto Popsugar's list of must-see photos from the star-studded event.

The Birthday Party opens next month

Theatre is likely to be very much on ZoŽ's mind at the moment, as Sonia Friedman Productions' major West End revival of The Birthday Party, in which she'll appear as seaside boarding house owner Meg, begins in a matter of weeks. The prestigious, 60th anniversary production has been in rehearsals since late November.

This stunning publicity photo shows the darkly comic play's full cast. The show will be performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre, named after The Birthday Party's legendary writer, from 9 January to 14 April 2018. Tickets are on sale now Ė and going quickly.

Sky to release Britannia in January

On 18 January (the same date as The Birthday Party's press night, in fact) all ten episodes of Britannia, Jez Butterworth's epic historical drama series, will be made available as a boxset to viewers of Sky Atlantic and streaming service Now TV. The series, in which ZoŽ stars as the formidable Celtic Queen Antedia, was filmed in the Czech Republic and Wales back in 2016, and now the wait is almost over!

In this new publicity photo, Antedia comes face to face with invading Roman general Aulus Plautius (David Morrissey). As is clear from the photo, as well as the trailer, Britannia looks spectactular!

Zoe's character, in particular, is bound to be an unforgettable element of the show. 'I'm channelling Tina Turner in Mad Max!' she quipped when Empire Magazine went behind-the-scenesIn The Times' words, '[Antedia's] face is tattooed, she swears like a trooper and her hair deserves a Bafta to itself'!

Appropriately enough, BAFTA in London provided the setting for Britannia's press screening, held at the end of November. ZoŽ joined Morrissey and Butterworth for a panel discussion at the event.

Girlfriends is coming to ITV very soon

ZoŽ attended another press screening in early December Ė this time for ITV's brand new drama series Girlfriends. Also present were her co-stars Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan, as well as Girlfriends' creator Kay Mellor. They all took part in a panel discussion at the London event.

According to the Radio Times website, Girlfriends begins on 3 January (ITV, 9pm). No clips so far, but the newly released publicity photos give us a sense of the three very different, distinctive women at the heart of the series, including ZoŽ's Gail.

Filmed in Yorkshire over the summer, the series sees the trio of childhood friends reunited in the aftermath of a tragedy while tackling all sorts of problems in their lives. Gail certainly has a lot on her plate: she's helping her son Tom make a fresh start after his time in prison while also trying to rescue her marriage to Dave.

Actor Chris Fountain, who's also in Girlfriends' cast, is full of praise for ZoŽ and her co-stars. Interviewed by What's on TV magazine, he said, 'I'm totally in awe of them. Just watching them work is like doing an acting masterclass.'

If you've seen any other dramas by Mellor, you'll know that she's a brilliant storyteller. Expect punchy but warmhearted plots and dialogue. In fact, ZoŽ's talent for bringing tough yet vulnerable characters to life seems absolutely tailor-made for Girlfriends.

Death of a Salesman returns to Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 gave listeners another chance to hear the stunning 2015 production of Arthur Miller's masterpiece Death of a Salesman, which stars ZoŽ and David Suchet and was directed by the late Howard Davies, on 26 November.

As ZoŽ pointed out when it was originally broadcast, 'the drama is so brilliantly constructed, you donít realise the power of it until you perform it'.

You can listen to Death of a Salesman on the BBC iPlayer for the next few weeks.

ZoŽ helps Samaritans #GivetheGift of listening

The charity Samaritans, which offers emotional support to people going through tough times, is auctioning an elegant scarf kindly donated by ZoŽ. The item is one of a number of scarves and similar accessories from well-known individuals that you can bid for on eBay as part of Samaritans' #GivetheGift Christmas fundraising campaign.

You have until 10 December to bid for Zoe's scarf. Good luck!

With thanks to Janet, Karoline, @KellyReillyWeb and Ilona for their help.

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