'I am very happy to make this website, designed by Liz, official.'
ZoŽ Wanamaker CBE
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.
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.
Guestbook - To sign the guestbook, please click the picture below. Your comments are much appreciated.
15 November 2016 01:22
On Sunday night, ZoŽ and her husband, Gawn Grainger, joined a host of other well-known actors at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016. They were photographed on the red carpet, as well as at the awards reception, for Getty Images, Zimbio, PopSugar and AceShowbiz. Getty also has a short video of them at the event.
ZoŽ looked stylish in a black tailored jacket, trousers and hat, prompting news website MSN to include her outfit in its selection of the Evening Standard Awards' 'most stand-out looks'.
The prestigious ceremony took place at The Old Vic just a day after Kenneth Branagh's Plays at the Garrick season, in which ZoŽ and her husband both appeared (she in All On Her Own/Harlequinade and he in the season's final show, The Entertainer) drew to a close.
They saw Branagh receive the special Lebedev Award in recognition of his hugely popular season of West End plays. One of the judges, the Evening Standardís chief theatre critic, Henry Hitchings, described Branagh's 'spectacular' project as 'a showcase for legends including Judi Dench, ZoŽ Wanamaker and Derek Jacobi'. Another actor who belongs on that list of greats is Zoe's husband, I'm sure you'll agree.
Other winners at the ceremony, which was co-hosted by Elton John and Evgeny Lebedev and presented by Rob Brydon, included David Attenborough, Glenn Close, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Ralph Fiennes, John Malkovich, Billie Piper and more.
4 November 2016 15:59
ZoŽ's latest TV project has been announced today by the BBC. She'll portray the radical theatre director Joan Littlewood in Babs, a special 90-minute drama about the life of national treasure Barbara Windsor, known to many as the star of EastEnders and Carry On films.
Scripted by EastEnders' former lead writer, Tony Jordan, Babs is set in the 1990s. The show finds Windsor reflecting on her life and work as she prepares to make one of her many stage appearances. According to the BBC Media Centre, the insightful biopic 'takes us on a journey of all the people and events that have shaped her career: her lonely childhood and complicated relationship with her father, her doomed marriage to Ronnie Knight, capturing the attention of Joan Littlewood and becoming the blonde bombshell in the Carry On films.'
As a young actress, Windsor joined Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, a London group that trained many performers during the 1950s and 60s at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. Littlewood was a talented but challenging figure in the theatre industry, known for breaking rules and subverting expectations, with the result that she and the future star didn't always see eye to eye. However, Windsor made a big impression on her and has called her 'a great, great, great director'.
Jaime Winstone and Samantha Spiro will play Windsor at different stages of her life. Other cast members include Leanne Best and Nick Moran as the actress' parents. Today's casting news has been reported by the Radio Times, Digital Spy, AOL and other news sources.
Filming for Babs is currently taking place in South London, which means that ZoŽ is working on the show alongside the previously announced historical drama Britannia.
Babs is being produced by BBC Studios in association with Red Planet Pictures and will be shown next year on BBC One, in anticipation of Windsor's 80th birthday.
28 October 2016 18:09
Digital Theatre has today announced that its recording of All My Sons will be free, for a limited period, in honour of the hugely successful production's late director, Howard Davies.
Arthur Miller's classic play was recorded in 2010 at London's Apollo Theatre, where the show enjoyed a sold-out run, five-star reviews and awards. ZoŽ stars as careworn Kate Keller, alongside David Suchet as Kate's ostensibly respectable husband, Joe. The troubled Kellers' secrets threaten to tear them apart when the former fiancťe of the son they lost during World War II returns to her hometown.
To enjoy the unforgettable All My Sons free, visit Digital Theatre's website, select the rental, standard or high-definition version and enter the code HDALLMYSONS during the checkout process. The offer will be available until 11:59pm GMT this Monday, 31 October.
Watching ZoŽ and her fellow cast members' heart-wrenching performances in Miller's masterpiece this weekend is surely an excellent way in which to celebrate the work of Howard Davies, 'one of the greatest ever theatre directors', in the words of Digital Theatre.
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.
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.
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'.