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.

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.

Shadow and Bone

ZoŽ is currently filming this major new fantasy series for Netflix, based on Leigh Bardugoís novels. She's been cast as Baghra, a ruthless teacher.

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News round-up: Worzel Gummidge DVD, Such Rotten Luck, TheatreVoice and more

30 January 2020 17:54

I hope 2020 is off to a fantastic start for you.

The other day I realised that I've now been a fan for 20 years. I feel fortunate to have discovered ZoŽ's work when I did, aged 14; I've grown up with it - it's always been a wonderful, positive presence in my life.

Now I'm trying to think of how best to celebrate this milestone anniversary. Let me know if you have any ideas :)

While we wait to hear more about ZoŽ's role in Netflix's epic Shadow and Bone, there are plenty of other things to enjoy.

Worzel Gummidge comes to DVD

Wasn't the BBC's adaptation of the Worzel Gummidge children's stories a total delight?

If you missed Zoe's star turn in episode two as the eccentric Lady Bloomsbury Barton (complete with Doc Martens and Iris Apfel-style glasses!) over Christmas, brighten up a wintry evening by catching up on the iPlayer.

Both episodes - 'The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook' and 'The Green Man' - will be made available on DVD and Blu-ray, though we have a little while to wait. The release date is currently 6 April.

Another chance to hear Such Rotten Luck

Making a welcome return to BBC Radio 4 Extra is Such Rotten Luck (1989), the witty comedy-drama starring ZoŽ and Tim Pigott-Smith.

ZoŽ plays Gila, the exasperated wife of a second-rate writer, Woodhouse.

You can listen to episode one on BBC Sounds. Further episodes will air on Wednesdays at 9:30 am (UK time) then be repeated a few times during the week (check the schedule for details).

It's not clear yet whether series two will be broadcast as well (it hasn't been heard for several years, which is a pity), but let's hope so.

Fascinating TheatreVoice interview

There's no denying that ZoŽ has a wonderful, distinctive voice. If you'd like to hear more of it, I highly recommend her recent interview with TheatreVoice, which you can stream online or download as a podcast.

As you'd expect, the interview is a deep dive into ZoŽ's performances on stage, as well as her lifelong love of watching theatre. It encompasses everything from the 'idyllic' time she spent in Stratford as a child to appearing in the award-winning 2010 revival of All My Sons.

One of the most insightful parts of the interview, for me, comes when Zoe explains what she means by 'hovercrafting' when playing a character on stage - a sense of freedom 'when you feel that you are it and it is you'. Your performance 'just flows out of you' then.

The interview runs to almost 40 minutes and is well worth hearing.

Watch The Cherry Orchard with Drama Online

Talking of powerful theatre, I was thrilled to learn that the National Theatre's 2011 production of The Cherry Orchard, starring Zoe as Ranevskaya, is available to watch online for the first time, thanks to Drama Online.

As far as I can tell, Drama Online is aimed at students and educational institutions. If you're at university, for instance, you may be able to access the service through the library.

I wish The Cherry Orchard was more widely available, but it's good to know it's still being watched and appreciated several years after it graced the NT's stage.

Shakespeare's Globe on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Last year ZoŽ's dad appeared as a character in Quentin Tarantino's 60s-set Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, portrayed by Nicholas Hammond (best known as Spider-Man).

In a recent blog article, Shakespeare's Globe explores how accurate the film is about Sam Wanamaker's life and career.

As the theatre concludes, the depiction of Zoe's dad on the big screen is 'a playful and unexpectedly touching tribute to [its] founder'.

Carol concert photo

And finally, Zoe is pictured on Twitter taking part in the Royal Brompton Carols by Candlelight service on 18 December.

Christmas feels like a long time ago now, doesn't it!

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