'I am very happy to make this website, designed by Liz, official.'
ZoŽ Wanamaker CBE
My name's Liz, and I manage the website. For details of when and why it was created, please see the section about this website.
ZoŽ has an official Twitter account, @ZoeWanamaker, that she runs with her PA, Vanessa. I tweet at @LizLockhart1985.

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse:
You can donate to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and find out more about this recreation of an indoor Jacobean theatre, on the Shakespeare's Globe website. ZoŽ, who is Honorary President of the Globe, talks about the history and significance of the project in a video by the theatre. 

Current and upcoming projects:
  • Girlfriends (starts 3 January, 9pm, ITV1; also being streamed from 29 January on Acorn TV): ZoŽ stars as Gail, part of a trio of childhood friends rocked by tragedy in this six-part drama series.
  • The Birthday Party (9 January-14 April at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London): ZoŽ stars as Meg, who runs a seaside boarding house, in this West End revival of Pinter's dark, classic play.
  • Britannia (All episodes to be released on 18 January on Sky Atlantic and Now TV; also coming to Amazon Prime Video): ZoŽ stars as Queen Antedia, a key figure in the Celtic resistance movement, in this epic, nine-part historical drama series about the Roman invasion of ancient Britain.
  • Inside Number 9 (2018, BBC2): ZoŽ guest stars in an episode from this cult comedy-drama's fourth series.

Guestbook - To sign the guestbook, please click the picture below. Your comments are much appreciated.

Welcome to the official website for Zoë Wanamaker!

ZoŽ chats about ITV's Girlfriends: 'it's not glossy, it's not chic, it's very real'

15 December 2017 22:11

With Girlfriends set to be a New Year TV treat, thereís plenty of press coverage to enjoy, some of which reveals intriguing details about ZoŽís character Gail Stanley and the challenges she faces with her best pals Linda Hutchinson (played by Phyllis Logan) and Sue Thackery (Miranda Richardson). The friends will need each other more than ever in the six-part drama. ĎEverybodyís in a crisis when you meet them,í ZoŽ points out in the Total TV Guide, Ďbut it all develops much more as the series goes on.í

Ď[Gail is] going through a divorce [from] a man she realises she still loves and her son Tom has just been released from prison,í ZoŽ tells the magazine. ĎOn top of this, sheís juggling her job as a lollipop lady with looking after Tomís young son [Ben] and visiting her elderly mother [Edna], whoís developing dementia.í Gail is her familyís linchpin; her relatives, young and old, rely on her. Sheís also supporting recently bereaved housewife Linda and Sue, who encounters age discrimination at work.

Gail is busy looking after everyone except herself...

Gail is so caught up in her nearest and dearestís problems, and is trying to cope with so many different responsibilities, that sheís in danger of neglecting her own needs and hopes. As ZoŽ remarks in Girlfriendsí press pack, ĎGail puts herself furthest down the list, for looking after people. She has very little self-esteem.í Although Gail has difficulty believing in herself, she possesses many admirable qualities. ZoŽ views her as Ďa very perceptive human being [who] isnít at all judgmentalí, while Miranda Richardson says that Gail Ďis the one who shows the initiativeí in tough situations.

If youíve watched dramas such as Prime Suspect, Love Hurts or The English Wife, youíll know that ZoŽ excels at playing strong yet vulnerable characters. Girlfriendsí creator Kay Mellor is evidently impressed by ZoŽís performance in this series, as the acclaimed scriptwriter emphasises in the press pack that Ďshe is brilliant as Gailí.

In its profile of this resourceful, working-class Yorkshirewoman, the press pack notes that Gail was politically active in her younger days, campaigning for a better world and singing protest songs as part of the band she formed with Linda and Sue. ĎNow she feels like sheís lost her fighting spirit somewhere along the way,í the profile concludes. Will Gail be able to find it in time to save her marriage and family?

Strong storylines with mature women at the forefront

Girlfriends is a bold, emotive drama and breaks new ground by focusing on ordinary women in late middle age as they tackle contemporary issues. As ZoŽ says in the press pack, Ďitís not glossy, itís not chic, itís very real [and that] was very appealingí.

A major source of drama in put-upon Gailís life is petty criminal Tom, whoís released from prison in episode one (to save face, sheís been pretending that he has a job in Thailand). The tension between her wayward son and his step-father Dave is the reason why Gailís marriage is on the rocks. Itís difficult to envisage her attempts to rekindle her romance with Dave succeeding unless Tom can be persuaded to change his attitude drastically.

Thankfully, there was no drama with ĎTomí off-camera. ĎI last met Matthew [Lewis] when he was in Harry Potter [playing accident-prone wizard Neville Longbottom], so it was a shock to see him now, as a gorgeous hunk!í ZoŽ laughs in TV Choice.

Celebrating female friendship on and off-screen

She enjoyed a great working relationship with her co-stars as well, and that close bond enriches the scenes they share. As Kay Mellor points out in the press pack, ĎOne of my favourite scenes has to be towards the end of episode one when the three women are in the kitchen and they all come together. It kind of encapsulates whatís going on in their lives and the friendship, that theyíre there for each other. You can see it, itís palpable, you can touch it, the warmth is there, genuinely, you know. I think ZoŽ and Miranda and Phyllis had bonded at that time and there was genuine affection there for one another and they end up all hugging each other.í

ĎIíd never met Phyllis before but it has been lovely. Miranda and I worked together a long time ago [in 1989ís quirky Ball-Trap on the CŰte Sauvage] and weíve often bobbed into each otherís lives, so this is terrific,í ZoŽ tells the TV Times.

Female friendship is celebrated in the Radio Timesí Girlfriends feature, for which ZoŽ and her co-stars took part in a glamorous, festive photoshoot. Reflecting on what having friends of the same gender means to her, ZoŽ highlights the importance of female solidarity: ĎWhen I went out into the world and started working, I was young and vulnerable, so I formed immediate strong bonds with women along the way.í

Zoe Wanamaker totally nailed it wearing the Stardust dress in antique gold in the latest issue of the Radio Times #gold #golddress #eveningwear #eveningdress #designerdress #fashion #stylist #fashionista #instafashion #designer #designerdress #cool #cooldress #moderndress #cool #cooldress #fashionshoot #photoshoot #style #glamour #luxury #happy #instadress #actress #zoewanamaker

A post shared by Eliza Jane Howell (@elizajanehowell) on

Gail and her friends will always be there for each other

Gail, Linda and Sue got to know each other at a youth club, enjoying exactly the kind of Ďimmediate strong bondsí ZoŽ experienced early in her career. (The fact that the first letter of each character's name appears in the drama's title is a nice touch and underscores the trio's closeness.) As she remarks in the Total TV Guide, Ďif you have that kind of connection [with your friends], it never goes awayí. Time passes and lives change, but true friendship endures.

The drama's producer Josh Dynevor sums up what's in store brilliantly in the press pack when he says that Ď[the trio have been] knocked back and this is them fighting backí. Itís no wonder that Girlfriends, with its compelling plot and characters, is one of Metroís top festive TV shows and among the Radio Timesí Christmas and New Year highlights! This Ďbig boiling pot of a dramaí, as the latter magazine describes it, begins on 3 January (ITV1, 9pm) in the UK and 29 January in the US (Acorn TV).


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