'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:
  • 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.
  • Babs (BBC One, 2017): ZoŽ portrays radical theatre director Joan Littlewood in this special, one-off drama celebrating national treasure Barbara Windsor.

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

Welcome to the official website for Zoë Wanamaker!


Looking back at ZoŽ's appearances in the late director Howard Davies' award-winning shows

26 October 2016 21:51

Howard Davies, the acclaimed director with whom ZoŽ worked extensively at the RSC, National Theatre and elsewhere, has sadly died at the age of 71.

From the 1970s onwards, ZoŽ collaborated with Davies on a number of unforgettable, highly successful productions.

Below are some highlights.

Piaf (1978-81)

This was the first time that Pam Gems' powerful dramatisation of legendary French songstress Edith Piaf's troubled life had been staged. With Davies directing, Piaf played to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and gave ZoŽ her US theatrical debut.

ZoŽ appeared in the production as Toine, feisty best friend to Jane Lapotaire's Piaf. The Times remarked that they made 'a splendidly pugnacious double act'.

The Crucible (1990)

Davies directed ZoŽ (who played Elizabeth Proctor) in what The Stage called a 'splendid' revival of Arthur Miller's famous allegory of McCarthyism. The production was presented in honour of the 75th birthday of its playwright.

The Independent noted that as The Crucible's community was slowly torn apart by fear and suspicion during the Salem witch trials, ZoŽ excelled at demonstrating 'the desiccated, disconsolate dignity of Elizabeth'.

All My Sons (2010)

When ZoŽ performed another masterpiece by Arthur Miller, Davies was again the director. ZoŽ appeared on stage with David Suchet as the troubled Kellers, whose beloved eldest son is thought to have been killed during the Second World War.

For the Telegraph, Davies' revival of All My Sons was 'a stunning production of a modern classic'. The show's run was extended, and it was showered with awards. Davies won the 2010 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director (for All My Sons and another acclaimed production, The White Guard). ZoŽ was named Best Actress in a Play at the Whatsonstage.com Awards, while Suchet received the Best Actor award.

The production was filmed and is available to watch online via Digital Theatre.

The Cherry Orchard (2011)

Davies' production of Chekhov's tragic play saw ZoŽ portray Russian aristocrat Ranyevskaya, who can't Ė or won't Ė acknowledge the danger in which she finds herself.

Both ZoŽ and the director took part in a short video about acting in The Cherry Orchard, as well as the advantages and challenges of Chekhov's work. Davies noted that 'you have to be forensic in the way that you approach plays and characters'.

The production was broadcast live in cinemas around the world as part of the 2011 National Theatre Live season.

For images from The Cherry Orchard and some of Davies' other National Theatre productions, see the NT's photographic tribute.

Death of a Salesman (2015)

When ZoŽ worked again with Davies and Suchet on another Miller classic, Death of a Salesman, the Radio Times called the trio 'the ''dream team''' in light of their previous success.

Davies directed the compelling play for BBC Radio 3, marking Miller's centenary. ZoŽ portrayed Linda Loman, loyal wife to disenchanted Willy (played by Suchet).

Discussing the production in the Radio Times, ZoŽ remarked that 'It's such a joy to be working again with David and Howard, both of whom I'm extremely in tune with.'

Fantastic Portrait in Celebration of Friendship

In the early 1990s, ZoŽ was photographed with Davies as part of a series of portraits by talented photographer Jillian Edelstein. The aim was to celebrate friendship.

The stunning black-and-white photo appeared in a magazine feature, alongside ZoŽ's comments about working with the director.

'He enjoys subtlety and seems to see the same tiny details that give me a tightrope of thought,' she emphasised.

Thanks to Karoline for the link to the National Theatreís photos.

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'I was never ever late for class': ZoŽ's drama school memories featured in special book, Royal Central

25 October 2016 19:46

If you've ever wondered what drama school was like for ZoŽ as an aspiring actress, now's your chance to find out!

Her memories of being a student at London's Central School of Speech & Drama feature in Royal Central: A Collection of Memories, a new book celebrating the renowned institution's 110th anniversary.

'I was never ever late for class,' ZoŽ emphasises in the book. 'Three years at drama school gave me a grounding but then the real work began Ė the learning curve of actually working.'

Her comments suggest that ZoŽ was a dedicated student. Having completed her studies in 1970, she made her professional debut in the Manchester's 69 Theatre Company's staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream Ė and has since gone from strength to strength.

Many other well-known figures who studied at Central Ė including Judi Dench, Philip Glenister and Michael Grandage Ė have also contributed to the book. It was compiled by another former Central student, Ian Closier-Hawkins, and launched on 18 October.

Royal Central is described by the drama school as 'an intimate and fascinating collection of memories'.

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Ball-Trap on the CŰte Sauvage available from the BBC for first time

6 October 2016 21:46

Andrew Davies' Ball-Trap on the CŰte Sauvage (1989), in which ZoŽ plays a holidaymaker trying to put her family's troubles behind her, is now available to download from the BBC Store. The quirky tale of Brits abroad has been released to celebrate its acclaimed writer's 80th birthday, alongside many of Davies' other original programmes.

This is the first time that Ball-Trap, which also stars Michael Kitchen, Miranda Richardson and Jack Shepherd, has been available to buy in any format. Last shown on TV in 2003, it's full of humour and tension.

For a taster, check out the Andrew Davies: Originals trailer below.

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Trailer for new Love Hurts DVD: Tessa and Frank's first meeting

6 October 2016 17:52

Can you remember how spirited Tessa Piggott, ZoŽ's character in the BBC's hugely successful drama Love Hurts (1992-4), first met plumber-turned-entrepreneur Frank Carver (played by Adam Faith)?

You can relive that all-important (and amusing) encounter by watching this trailer, which has been created by Network to celebrate its release of Love Hurts: The Complete Series DVD. As the trailer shows, it certainly wasn't a case of love at first sight for the couple!

The nine-disc Region 2 DVD features every episode from all three series of the drama. Having compared it to the original DVDs (released around ten years ago), I must say it looks better Ė and takes up less shelf space! The inclusion of production photos is a nice touch.

Watching the new DVD has reminded me of the brilliant chemistry between the TV programme's two main characters, the wit of the dialogue and the consistently high quality of the acting.

No wonder Love Hurts made ZoŽ a household name and is fondly remembered more than twenty years after it was first shown.

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News round-up: Shakespeare, The Entertainer, Broadway and more

3 October 2016 20:28

There's been no shortage of exciting news about ZoŽ's career in recent weeks Ė here's a summary in case you've missed anything.

Discussing Shakespeare with ZoŽ

As part of an interview with the Evening Standard, writer and art historian Dr Laura-Jane Foley talks enthusiastically about having met ZoŽ in preparation for August's The Shakespeareans exhibition.

Foley, who co-organised the exhibition and created a pen portrait of ZoŽ especially for it, comments that '[ZoŽ's] father used to row to work across the Avon when they were in Stratford. She described this idyllic, beautiful, charming, enchanting childhood and in a sense you think, ''No wonder she's an actor. How romantic''.'

Behind the scenes at Much Ado About Nothing

For more insights into ZoŽ's interest in Shakespeare's plays, you can download the new National Theatre Shakespeare app. The free app, designed for iPhones and iPads, looks in detail at all of the National's main-house Shakespearean productions to date Ė including the acclaimed 2007 version of Much Ado About Nothing, in which ZoŽ starred as Beatrice opposite Simon Russell Beale's Benedick. (The video below features some highlights from the show.)

Much Ado's archive material includes cast interviews, clips, photos and more. Whether you saw the production or are new to it, you're sure to find the app's content absolutely fascinating.

Exploring ZoŽ's Broadway roles

Another theatre resource that's well worth exploring is the Playbill Vault's collection of theatre programmes, photos and other material related to ZoŽ's Broadway roles (as well as some of her stage work in the UK). Browsing the collection is an ideal way to find out more about such stunning shows as 1998's Electra, which earned ZoŽ a Tony Award nomination.

Rare screening of The Eagle Has Landed

This summer, Royal Holloway's Media Arts department organised an event to celebrate archive TV programmes. Those shown at the event included darkly comic The Eagle Has Landed (1973), which features one of ZoŽ's earliest appearances on screen. Photos from the screening were shared on Twitter; among them are a couple of rare images of ZoŽ playing hippy Alice.

The Entertainer press night

During a break from filming historical drama Britannia, ZoŽ attended the opening night performance, on 30 August, of The Entertainer. Her husband, Gawn Grainger, stars as music hall veteran Billy Rice in the show in London's West End. The couple are pictured enjoying the after-party, which was held at the National Cafť in the National Gallery, on the Daily Mail and Getty Images websites.

The revival of John Osborne's powerful play is the final production in the current Plays at the Garrick season, led by The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. ZoŽ is certainly no stranger to the company, having starred in All On Her Own/Harlequinade earlier in the season. The Entertainer theatre programme includes photos of ZoŽ and her husband in its celebration of the company's members.

Tickets are available for The Entertainer, which runs until 12 November at the Garrick Theatre. What's more, the 27 October performance will be broadcast live in cinemas around the world.

Letter to the Guardian: rainforest protection

ZoŽ is among the signatories of a letter published in the Guardian that raises awareness of the threat posed to areas of Amazonian rainforest by dam-building plans.

Joanna Lumley, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Rylance, Greta Scacchi (who's starring alongside ZoŽ's husband in The Entertainer) and many other well-known individuals also gave their support to the letter.

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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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