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

News round-up: Love Hurts, The Older Woman, Ode to Joy and Nicholas Hammond as Sam Wanamaker in Tarantino film

27 July 2018 23:08

Watch Love Hurts on Acorn TV from 30 July

A reminder for US fans that you can watch Love Hurts series one from this Monday, 30 July. The first ten episodes of the classic BBC comedy-drama, starring ZoŽ and Adam Faith, will be available to stream on Acorn TV. To the best of my knowledge, this marks the first time Love Hurts has been shown in the US since BBC America aired it over ten years ago.

If youíre not familiar with the show, let me bring you up to speed. ZoŽ plays Tessa Piggott, a high-flying corporate exec who was, for years, the bossís mistress. After being unceremoniously dumped one lunchtime, she decides to change her life by putting her skills to use in the charity sector. Tessa also decides to avoid any more romantic entanglements Ė but fate has other ideas when cheeky chappy and self-made millionaire Frank Carver averts a crisis on the night of an all-important charity event.

Witty scripts and sparkling performances made Love Hurts a huge hit when it originally aired in the UK from 1992-4. The shoulder pads are big, as are the mobile phones, but the relationship issues and social problems at the heart of the series are as relevant as ever.

Catch up with The Older Woman

ZoŽ stars as one half of another will-they-wonít-they couple Ė tough, fortysomething teacher Jane Callaghan and love-struck, thirtysomething former pupil Roy Hitchcock Ė in distinctive comedy-drama The Older Woman (1993). Her co-stars include Martin Clunes and Toyah Willcox.

The imaginative, acerbic series, which recently made a welcome return to BBC Radio 4 Extra, will conclude on 30 July at 7am (repeated 5pm and 31 July at 5am). You can catch up with the previous five episodes now.

Ode to Joy gets film festival screening

The documentary Ode to Joy (2014), narrated by ZoŽ, will be screened as part of the inaugural Watford Short Film Festival on 4 August. The brief but fascinating film explores the life and career of talented, Watford-born animator Joy Batchelor. She's perhaps best known for the 1954 film adaptation of George Orwell's allegorical novella, Animal Farm.

Tickets to the festival are available online.

Nicholas Hammond to play ZoŽís dad in Tarantino film

Nicholas Hammond (who you may remember from The Sound of Music and 70s TV series The Amazing Spider-Man) has been cast as Sam Wanamaker in major director Quentin Tarantinoís forthcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is currently in production.

Itís not yet clear what role ZoŽís dad will have in the plot of the film, which is set in Los Angeles during the infamous summer of 1969 and blends history with fiction. Film resource Screen Rant suggests that heís most likely to be involved with (fictional) TV actor Rick Daltonís storyline. That sounds plausible, given Sam Wanamaker's extensive TV acting and directing experience.

Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), are attempting to make the leap from the small screen to Hollywood blockbusters. Events take a horrifying turn, however, one August night. Daltonís neighbour is Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), the real-life rising star who was murdered, along with several others, at her home by followers of the criminal Charles Manson.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is due to be released in summer 2019.

Thanks to Karoline for her help.

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ZoŽ films 28 Tales for 28 Days, highlighting immigration detaineesí struggles

26 July 2018 23:23

Hereís ZoŽ filming 28 Tales for 28 Days, which calls for a 28-day time limit on UK immigration detention. As recently reported here, sheís one of the well-known actors and writers helping to highlight the experiences of people indefinitely detained in the UK by making this series of videos.

28 Tales is the brainchild of charity Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, which runs a walking project called Refugee Tales. Also on board is Comma Press, the publisher of the stories told on the walks and in 28 Tales.

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ZoŽ and the other readers are giving their time free to 28 Tales. The GDWG is running a crowdfunding campaign to cover filming, editing and distribution costs, as well as enable more former detainees to join the walking community. If 28 Tales and Refugee Tales strike a chord and you wish to contribute to the campaign, you can do so until 2 August.

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ZoŽ attends the opening night of Alan Bennettís new play

19 July 2018 04:43

ZoŽ has been photographed at the opening night of Allelujah!, which took place on 18 July at the Bridge Theatre in London. Well-loved writer Alan Bennettís humorous, poignant new play stars Sacha Dhawan and is set on the geriatric ward of a hospital threatened with closure.

The director of Allelujah!, Nicholas Hytner, worked very successfully with Zoe during his tenure at the National Theatre. Hytner was at the helm of the acclaimed 2007 revivals of The Rose Tattoo and Much Ado About Nothing.

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News round-up: Wimbledon; BBC Radio Wales; favourite Shakespeare speech; Girlfriends in New Zealand Ė and more

18 July 2018 21:37

ZoŽ joins the crowds at Wimbledon

Zoe and her husband, Gawn Grainger, recently enjoyed world-class tennis and glorious weather at Wimbledon. They were pictured in the Royal Box on Centre Court, where Serena Williams was playing Julia Georges.

Hear ZoŽ interviewed by Aled Jones

From 1-2pm this Sunday, 22 July, thereís another chance to hear ZoŽís BBC Radio Wales interview. The hugely enjoyable programme, presented by Aled Jones, was first broadcast in June 2017.

Whether youíre in Wales or elsewhere, youíll find details of how to listen to Radio Wales on the stationís website.

ZoŽís favourite Shakespearean speech

In a recent podcast from BBC Radio 3ís The Shakespeare Sessions, ZoŽ explains why the famous ĎO for a Muse of fireí speech at the beginning of Henry V means so much to her. (The brief interview originally aired on Radio 4 several years ago but is certainly worth listening to again.)

ĎIt encompasses everything that my father [Sam Wanamaker] had envisaged [for his reconstruction of Shakespeareís Globe],í ZoŽ remarks about the speech. ĎIt paints the most wonderful picture, and it asks the audience to enter the world of play, of theatre.í

ZoŽ knows the speech particularly well, having spoken it on stage at the Globe in June 1997 to mark the theatreís official opening.

She recalls an auspicious moment in the run-up to the opening ceremony: ĎAs I rehearsed [the speech], just as I did the bow at the end, the sun just came up the top of the thatch and hit me straight in the eyes. That was, I felt, a little sign.í

You can watch ZoŽ give the powerful speech during the ceremony itself, as it was filmed for a fascinating documentary, Henry V at the Globe.

Girlfriends comes to New Zealand

You can now watch every episode of Girlfriends in New Zealand, thanks to streaming service TVNZ OnDemand. The drama was originally shown in the UK earlier this year and has also been enjoyed by US viewers.

Check out TVNZís great list of reasons to watch the series (though surely the fact it stars ZoŽ, Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan is reason enough!). But be warned: Girlfriends Ďwill suck you in and steal your heartí!

Love Hurts series two in the US

The streaming service that brought Girlfriends to the US, Acorn TV, is getting ready to release the second series of Love Hurts in late August. Look out for major developments in the relationship between Zoeís tough-yet-vulnerable Tessa and cheeky entrepreneur Frank (Adam Faith).

This news follows the equally welcome announcement that series one will be available to Acorn TV subscribers from the end of July.

Fingers crossed that US fans will get to see Love Hurtsí final series in September... Iíll keep you updated!

28 Tales for 28 Days crowdfunding campaign

ZoŽ is among the actors set to take part in 28 Tales for 28 Days, a series of videos for the charity Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group. The project will highlight the experiences of people indefinitely detained in the UK and call for a 28-day time limit to be imposed on immigration detention periods.

As GDWG explains, ĎActors including Jeremy Irons, Christopher Eccleston, Shobu Kapoor, Maxine Peake, Zoe Wanamaker and Niamh Cusack and writers Kamila Shamsie, Patience Agbabi, Neel Mukherjee and others will be filmed reading the tales of those who have experienced detention and those who have worked with them. All writers and actors will donate their work. Studio space is also donated.í

The charity has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising enough money to cover filming, editing and distribution costs. If youíd like to make a donation to 28 Tales for 28 Days, you can do so until 2 August.

Thanks to Karoline for her help.

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ZoŽ at West End opening of 'wonderful' The King and I

6 July 2018 04:50

On 3 July, ZoŽ joined other special guests at The King and Iís lavish West End opening night and afterparty. Speaking to Whatsonstage.com about this Ďwonderfulí musical, which is running at the London Palladium, she emphasised that itís Ďbeautifully directed [and] beautifully sungí.

The King and Iís director, Bartlett Sher, was also at the helm of one of Zoeís own theatrical successes: the 2006 Broadway revival of Clifford Odetsí powerful family drama, Awake and Sing!

A world-class show and a balmy summer evening Ė certainly worth missing the football for!

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