Girlfriends

ZoŽ stars as Gail, part of a trio of childhood friends rocked by tragedy, in ITV's six-part drama series shown in early 2018. You can watch it on Region 2 DVD, Amazon Prime Video (UK) or Acorn TV on Amazon (US).

Britannia

ZoŽ stars as vengeful Queen Antedia in Sky's epic nine-part drama series, shown in early 2018, about the Romans invading ancient Britain. You can watch it on Sky Atlantic (UK), NOW TV (UK), Region B/2 Blu-ray, Region 2 DVD or Amazon Prime Video in the UK and US.

Inside No. 9

ZoŽ guest stars as waspish acting awards judge Paula in 'And the Winner Is...', an episode from the BBC's cult comedy-drama's fourth series shown on 30 January 2018. You can watch it on Region B/2 Blu-ray, Region 2/4 DVDAmazon Prime Video (UK), YouTube or via iTunes or Google Play.

Social

Don't miss The Birthday Party, plus a new portrait of ZoŽ, Britannia series two and more!

25 March 2018 21:41

Here's a detailed round-up of all the latest news for ZoŽ's fans.

Donít miss ZoŽ in The Birthday Party!

Time is running out to watch the 60th anniversary West End revival of Pinterís The Birthday Party. ZoŽís performance as seaside landlady Meg, who struggles to see her visitorsí dark intentions, has been widely praised.

As well as receiving stunning reviews, ZoŽ, the rest of the cast and the production itself are wowing audiences. Below is just a small selection of recent comments from theatregoers.

Tickets are available from ATG for the classic play, which is running for a strictly limited season at London's Harold Pinter Theatre. The final matinee and evening performance will be on 14 April.

Donít miss this five-star theatrical treat!

Photoshoot with Andrew Ogilvy

The Harold Pinter Theatre was also the setting for a recent photoshoot with ZoŽ and the talented photographer Andrew Ogilvy.


They clearly had a great time working together! You can view the portrait of ZoŽ on Ogilvyís website Ė I like the directness of her gaze.

Britannia set to return in 2019

Have you recovered yet after Britanniaís shocking finale? While you catch your breath, let me fill you in on an exciting announcement about the historical epic. Sky has commissioned a second series, which will begin filming this spring. The new episodes are due to air next year.

Hopefully this means that weíll find out how ZoŽís formidable Queen Antedia fares following the catastrophic events in the first series.

If youíd like to relive the drama, youíll be pleased to hear that Britannia series one will be released on Region 2 DVD and Region B/2 Blu-ray on 26 March.

Below, fanpage Best of Britannia has helpfully summarised other ways you can watch the show around the world.

Annabel Scholey chats about ZoŽ, her Ďamazingí co-star

Another Britannia cast member, Annabel Scholey, has emphasised how supportive ZoŽ is as part of an interview published in The Mail on Sunday.

In particular, Scholey recalls the first time they worked together. ĎWhen I did [the 2013 West End production of] Passion Play with ZoŽ she requested that I share her dressing room because she likes to have company. What amazed me was how sheíd often ask what I thought about the way sheíd changed one little nuance or action. It made me feel so much better, because I realised I was with someone who, even at her level, still doubted herself and questioned everything.í

She describes ZoŽ as one of her Ďamazing friendsí in the acting industry who she can always turn to for advice and support.

Wonderful readings to celebrate World Poetry Day

Thanks to World Poetry Day (21 March), the power of creative writing has been in the spotlight this week. So why not take the opportunity to remind yourself of two brilliant readings ZoŽ has given of two brilliant poems?

The video, produced by literature resource Connell Guides, features ĎThis Be the Verseí by Philip Larkin and ĎNot Waving But Drowningí by Stevie Smith (who, of course, ZoŽ played on stage to great acclaim in 2014 and 2015).

Enjoy!

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Celebrating an inspiring woman on International Womenís Day

8 March 2018 20:18

One of the aims of International Womenís Day is to highlight womenís achievements, so Iíd like to celebrate one of the most inspiring women working today. No prizes for guessing who that is!

Iíve been a fan of ZoŽ since she appeared in a TV adaptation of David Copperfield when I was 14, way back in 1999. In a star-studded cast, ZoŽ stood out for me. I was soon watching many of ZoŽís other projects with equal enthusiasm. Over the years, that enthusiasm has never waned.

ZoŽ is an incredibly gifted actress Ė my 15 favourite moments from her screen work, which I chose to celebrate the websiteís 15th anniversary last year, really showcase her talent and versatility. Sheís also kind, witty, compassionate and hard-working, with the best laugh youíll ever hear.

Those qualities Ė and many others Ė are among the reasons why I look up to her. ZoŽ inspires me, and as youíve taken the time to read this, the chances are that she inspires you too.

And weíre not the only ones celebrating ZoŽís achievements today. Take a look at what the Harold Pinter Theatre, where sheís currently appearing in The Birthday Party, and her former drama school, Central, have to say.

Fantastic!

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ZoŽ chats about Ďone of the happiest experiencesí of her career, plus lots more news

8 March 2018 02:18

ĎOne of the happiest experiencesí of ZoŽís career

Hereís ZoŽ pictured with Toby Jones, her co-star in the West End revival of The Birthday Party, at the BBC Radio 2 studios last Saturday. Youíll find another photo of them on Radio 2ís website.

During a chat with presenter Paddy OíConnell, they explored the tension at the heart of Harold Pinterís classic play, in which mysterious strangers arrive at a seaside boarding house. ĎI think thereís a danger about it,í ZoŽ pointed out. Toby Jones agreed, emphasising that much of The Birthday Partyís humour comes from Ďthe laughter of anxietyí.

The strangers encourage ZoŽís Meg, the Ďguilelessí landlady, to throw a party for her washed-up lodger Stanley (Jones), even though heís adamant itís not his birthday. Fun and games then take a cruel, unpredictable turn...

Although The Birthday Party is dark and disturbing, the atmosphere off-stage is, thankfully, more relaxed! In fact, ZoŽ described working on this five-star production as Ďone of the happiest experiences Iíve ever hadí.

If you missed the radio show, donít worry, as you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer for the next few weeks. (The interview begins about an hour and a half into the programme.)

Thereís also just over a month left to catch The Birthday Party at London's Harold Pinter Theatre. It runs until 14 April, and some tickets are still available. The reviews have been fantastic!

ZoŽ lends her support to the LSN and Tree Aid

ZoŽ is backing Sock It to Lymphoedema, an annual campaign to increase awareness about this chronic condition affecting the lymphatic system, as well as raise funds for the Lymphoedema Support Networkís vital work.

Several other well-known supporters, including Judi Dench, are pictured on the LSNís website wearing odd socks as part of the campaign.

In addition, ZoŽ is the narrator of an engaging new animation from Tree Aid, another charity of which sheís a patron. The video explains why trees can mean the difference between life and death in the drylands of Africa.

I think Tessa and her colleagues at SEED in Love Hurts would certainly approve of Tree Aidís work, donít you!

ZoŽís most memorable holidays

ZoŽ recently spoke to the Mail on Sunday about some of her most memorable holidays Ė including her honeymoon, when the hotel didnít quite live up to its name...

ĎMy husband Gawn was working on a play in Wales at the time but had a day off, so we married in London and then caught the train back to the Majestic Hotel, where he was staying. On the train we had breakfast in a relatively plush cabin and when we got to the hotel we were given a bottle of champagne. Theyíd put out balloons, too. But our room was right by the car park. It was far from majestic.í

Unforgettable portrait of Queen Antedia

Feast your eyes on this stunning portrait of ZoŽ as the formidable Queen Antedia in Skyís epic Britannia. Itís by Alberto Reyes Francos, an incredibly talented illustrator who produces jaw-dropping TV and film-themed images.

QUEEN ANTEDIA || BRITANNIA Commisioned portrait Zo\u00eb Wanamaker\u2019s Queen Antedia from BRITANNIA for @skyatlanticuk Hope you like it! \ud83d\ude0a #britannia #antedia #zoewanamaker #skyatlantic #skyoriginal #illustration #ilustracion #digitalpainting #art #digitalart #cintiq #face #portrait #instaart #abduzeedo #artcollective #arts_help #artsanity #art_spotlight #BLVART @art_motive @arts_help @art_collective @fubiz @blvart #artnerd2018 #WorldOfArtists @posterspy @ampposters @ultimate_movie_posters @theposterposse @posteraholic

A post shared by Alberto Reyes Francos (@elpatoconbotas) on

Website addresses

And finally, an update about this website: you can now get here via zoewanamaker.com or zoewanamaker.co.uk, whichever you prefer :-)

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Hear ZoŽ and Toby Jones chat about The Birthday Party's hit revival on BBC Radio 2

2 March 2018 23:08

Tune into BBC Radio 2 on 3 March to hear ZoŽ discussing The Birthday Party alongside her co-star Toby Jones. They'll be among the special guests on Graham Norton's popular show, which airs from 10am to 1pm. Presenter Paddy O'Connell will be standing-in for Norton.

The landmark 60th anniversary production of Pinter's darkly comic masterpiece has received glowing five-star reviews and is currently being performed in front of packed houses in the West End. It'll be fascinating to hear what ZoŽ and Toby Jones have to say about the endearing seaside landlady Meg and her washed-up lodger Stanley, the characters they've been playing to great acclaim for around two months now.

You can watch The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre (appropriately enough!) in London until 14 April.

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Are you ready for Girlfriendsí five-star 'humdinger of a finale'?

7 February 2018 19:31

Tonight the sixth and final episode of ZoŽís compelling TV series Girlfriends airs in the UK (ITV1, 9pm Ė donít miss it!), and if youíre anything like me, youíll be brimming with questions. Will we find out the truth about Linda and missing Mickyís marriage (which clearly hit choppy waters long before the latter went overboard)? How many more revelations are in store? Can Gailís friendship with Sue and Linda survive?

Whatever happens to the troubled trio and their loved ones, one thing is certain: Gail and her best friendsí make-or-break trip to Spain will have us all on the edge of our seats. The TV Times, which has given the episode a glowing five-star review, emphasises that Ďin this humdinger of a finale, the shocks keep on comingí!

Making waves in the media

Of course, Girlfriends is not only fascinating but also ground-breaking, thanks to its focus on women of a certain age, who are too often overlooked on TV. So, just how significant is the series, created and written by Kay Mellor? Significant enough to have been featured on ITVís News at Ten, as well as making waves elsewhere in the media, in the run up to its TV debut on 3 January. And the level of interest from the media and viewers alike in Gail and her palsí trials and tribulations remains high.

Now, with the showís all-important conclusion less than two hours away, letís take a look at some of the most notable press coverage Girlfriends has received over the past six weeks...

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, ZoŽ explains what attracted her to the part of struggling lollipop lady Gail: ĎIt is a very different role for me [...] Thatís the joy of it, to challenge yourself. I love doing something I havenít done before.í She emphasises that there are an increasing number of opportunities for mature actresses on TV, as Ďmore people recognise that older women are viable and people want to watch themí.

Girlfriends is easy for many modern women to relate to, as ZoŽ points out in Woman&Home. ĎThe stories in this show are ĎĎEverywomaníí to some extent. Like all women, my character, Gail, is multitasking all the time Ė she has a lot of other people to look after and isnít necessarily looking after herself.í In Saga, she talks about getting into the role, commenting, ĎYou are trying to find the element that connects you to that person, and I do feel [Gailís] pain. Sheís in an extraordinarily difficult situation.í

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matthew Lewis (who plays ZoŽís wayward on-screen son Tom, having first worked with her on the original Harry Potter film) is full of praise for ZoŽ and her co-stars: ĎTheyíre all just so charming and so full of humility.í He adds, ĎAnd Zoe straightaway was like, ĎĎIíve been so looking forward to it. I was so thrilled when Kay told me you were taking this role.ííí The casting inspired a memorable headline in the Metro, ĎHarry Potter fans are freaking out that Madam Hooch plays Neville Longbottomís mum in Girlfriendsí!

The Times calls Girlfriends Ďheartfelt, perceptive and brilliantly castí. The series is Ďreal and glorious and funí, enthuses the Guardian. For the Observer, itís ĎITVís first triumph of the yearí, not least because of the trio of Ďwinning, vulnerable, harried, hot-flushed and heel-breakingí main characters (isnít that a wonderful description!).

Authentic drama loved by viewers

The showís popularity means that the hashtag #Girlfriends often trends on Twitter when episodes are broadcast, with viewers loving the story and performances.

Own a piece of TV history!

Earlier this week, Girlfriendsí production company, Rollem, gave fans in and around Leeds the chance to own clothes and accessories worn by ZoŽ and her castmates in a huge charity sale. The proceeds will benefit three worthy causes: Breast Cancer Haven, the NSPCC and Shelter. Whatís more, Mellor will match the total raised.

UK DVD release and US run

While Girlfriends draws to a close in the UK today, we can look forward to every episode being released on a two-disc Region 2 DVD boxset on 26 February. (There's no word on DVD extras yet, so let's just keep our fingers crossed!) If youíd like to be in with the chance of winning a copy, check out the competitions from Female First, WhatCulture, London-Olios and Win Something.

Girlfriends has just begun its run in the US on streaming service Acorn TV and looks set to be a hit there too, with The New York Times, no less, drawing attention to it as a cultural highlight. And as US TV critic Ken Tucker points out in his Yahoo Entertainment review, ĎWhat could be more timely than a new show about female friendship and unity?í

With thanks to Karoline, Victoria and Janet for their help.

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