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

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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