'I am very happy to make this website, designed by Liz, official.'
ZoŽ Wanamaker CBE
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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.
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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:
  • Babs (BBC One, 7 May at 8pm): ZoŽ portrays radical theatre director Joan Littlewood in this special, one-off drama celebrating national treasure Barbara Windsor. Now available on R2 DVD.
  • Britannia (Sky 1 and Amazon Prime Video, 2017): ZoŽ stars as Antedia, a key figure in the Celtic resistance movement, in this major, ten-part historical drama series about the Roman invasion of ancient Britain.
  • Inside Number 9 (BBC Two, 2018): ZoŽ guest stars in an episode from this cult comedy-drama's fourth series.
  • Girlfriends (ITV, 2018): ZoŽ stars as Gail, part of a trio of childhood friends rocked by tragedy in this six-part drama series.
  • We can also look forward to a challenging piece for the theatre. More details about that as soon as they're available...

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

Welcome to the official website for Zoë Wanamaker!


ZoŽ to star in Kay Mellor's 'exciting new series' Girlfriends for ITV

11 May 2017 16:47

Details of the new drama mentioned in ZoŽ's recent interview with the Sunday Telegraph have now been revealed. According to the ITV Press Centre, ZoŽ will star in six-part series Girlfriends alongside Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan.

Written by the hugely successful Kay Mellor, Girlfriends will see ZoŽ play Gail, one of a trio of childhood friends dealing with a tragic death while 'struggl[ing] with the responsibilities that come with being a modern woman of a certain age'.

Speaking about Girlfriends, ZoŽ says, 'I'm looking forward to working on this exciting new series with such a stellar cast. I have long been a fan of Kay's work and am relishing the opportunity to work alongside Miranda and Phyllis.'

As Mellor emphasises, the programme aims to give 'women of a certain age who feel like they are invisible and unheard [...] a voice' while treating viewers to 'a big, bold, dark story [...] shot through with humour'.

It sounds fantastic, and I'm thrilled that ZoŽ will be working again with Richardson after their brilliant performances in the quirky campsite comedy-drama Ball Trap on the CŰte Sauvage (1989).

Girlfriends will begin filming in June and air on TV in 2018.

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ZoŽ's 'lovely' portrayal of Joan Littlewood is among Babs' highlights

8 May 2017 20:25

ZoŽ's portrayal of visionary director Joan Littlewood in Babs, which was broadcast last night on BBC One, is being praised in the press and by TV viewers. She gave 'a lovely chain-smoking performance,' writes the Guardian enthusiastically in a review describing the Barbara Windsor biopic as a 'heartwarming' 90-minute drama.

Despite mistaking Littlewood for a cleaner when arriving at a theatre in late 1950s London, the young Windsor dazzles the director with her raw talent. 'Where have you been all my life?' Littlewood wonders during the particularly memorable audition scene. Babs made clear that although Windsor didn't always see eye to eye with her mentor, who favoured an unusual, experimental approach to rehearsing and staging plays, the director's mixture of encouragement and tough love helped the starlet to shine.

'No line in [Tony] Jordan's beautifully constructed script had more resonance than Littlewood's harsh advice [to Windsor] concerning the Carry On films: ''If you do it, all you'll ever be is the sexy little blonde,''' the Telegraph points out in its favourable review.

Littlewood is described by Windsor's agent in Babs as 'the most innovative theatre director this country's ever seen'. Appropriately enough, the programme itself is also highly original. It plays with our sense of time and place, as if an elaborate dream is unfolding. While that theatrical style wasn't to everyone's taste, I thought it worked wonderfully well. Babs' originality, as well as ZoŽ's delightful, nuanced performance, impressed many other viewers too, perhaps most notably the actor Larry Lamb (Windsor's former EastEnders co-star) and charity Tree Aid, of which ZoŽ has long been a patron.

Entertaining and moving, Babs is currently available to pre-order on Region 2 DVD before being released on 15 May. For roughly the next four weeks, you can also watch the programme online via the BBC iPlayer.

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ZoŽ discusses playing 'phenomenal' Joan Littlewood and is praised by her co-stars in the BBC's Babs

7 May 2017 18:57

Ahead of the TV broadcast of Babs tonight, the Sunday Telegraph has published a fascinating interview with ZoŽ in which she discusses pioneering director Joan Littlewood, the 'phenomenal creature' she portrays in the BBC's Barbara Windsor biopic. 'She had energy, a strength of passion and a social commitment which, I don't think, exists much in theatre anymore,' ZoŽ emphasises.

Littlewood's commitment to showcasing the talents of performers from working-class backgrounds 'gave people like Barbara Windsor a voice,' she adds, 'and of course that changed film and television forever', as Babs will demonstrate.

ZoŽ points out that her father, Sam Wanamaker, was a great admirer of Littlewood's work. She calls Shakespeare's Globe 'a people's palace' in the spirit of the arts venue Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop revitalised, Theatre Royal Stratford East.

ZoŽ's enthusiasm for Littlewood is clear, and she's received plenty of praise herself from her co-stars in Babs. Jaime Winstone, who plays Windsor as a young woman on the cusp of stardom, told the BBC how much she enjoyed working with her. 'ZoŽ is just the real deal. You know when you're working with a great, and she was so lovely and just stepped into the shoes of Joan Littlewood, who she was playing. As a lot of it was shot in a theatre on stage, we sort of slipped into this method acting. It was brilliant. She is really powerful, ZoŽ. She has a real presence and you just end up staring at her and, really interestingly, I do believe that she just became Joan.'

In addition, Daniel Ben Zenou, who appears in Babs as composer Lionel Bart, posted these kind words on Twitter with a great photo taken during filming.

Babs will be shown on BBC One tonight at 8pm. And excitingly, ZoŽ has more new projects for us to look forward to, as the Telegraph interview reveals. One is a drama for ITV and the other is, in ZoŽ's words, a 'dangerous and challenging' play.

Many thanks to Janet for her help

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New clip and photos of ZoŽ as Barbara Windsor's director in Babs

1 May 2017 18:43

With the broadcast of Babs now just days away, the BBC has released a great clip of a young Barbara Windsor (played by Jaime Winstone) impressing ZoŽ's Joan Littlewood as the starlet auditions for the influential director in East London.

As if that wasnít exciting enough, you can also see a series of fantastic photos from this eagerly anticipated biopic on the I Talk Telly and Daily Mail websites.

Look out for Babs on 7 May, from 8-9:30pm on BBC One.

Huge thanks to Karoline and Janet for their help

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News round-up: Babs on BBC One, more Much Ado insights and catch up with Such Rotten Luck

30 April 2017 21:00

Babs coming to TV and DVD in May!

The broadcast date for Babs, the Barbara Windsor biopic featuring ZoŽ as director Joan Littlewood, has now been revealed. Tune into BBC One on 7 May at 8pm for this 90-minute special.

What's more, Babs is due to be released on DVD (Region 2) just over a week after it's shown on TV and is currently available to pre-order.

Hooray!

More of ZoŽ's insights about Much Ado

Another fascinating extract from ZoŽ's interview in new book Shakespeare on Stage: Volume 2 has been published, this time by Whatsonstage.com. In the extract, she talks about being able to relate to Beatrice's independent spirit when she played the character in the National Theatre's 2007 revival of Much Ado About Nothing.

ZoŽ points out that Beatrice seems to have felt, initially, as if she'd never meet 'the right person' to settle down with and so decided 'it's better simply to be on [her] own'.

The book is available to buy now.

Such Rotten Luck on BBC iPlayer

You can catch up with the first two episodes of brilliant comedy-drama Such Rotten Luck (1989), starring ZoŽ alongside the late Tim Pigott-Smith, on the BBC iPlayer.

Listen out for episode three on Radio 4 Extra on 4 May at 9:30am (repeated 4:30pm and Ė for very early risers! Ė 4:30am the next morning).

With thanks to Karoline, Janet and Victoria for their help

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Most images used on this site are the copyright of their photographer, Ms. Wanamaker, and/or the production company of the show. Use of these images is covered under the fair use limitation in the USA, and the fair dealing limitaton in the UK.
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