'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:
  • The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter Theatre, London: 9 January-14 April 2018): ZoŽ stars as Meg, who runs a seaside boarding house, in this West End revival of Pinter's dark, classic play.
  • Britannia (Sky Atlantic and Amazon Prime Video, 2018): ZoŽ stars as Queen Antedia, a key figure in the Celtic resistance movement, in this epic, nine-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.

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

Welcome to the official website for Zoë Wanamaker!


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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ZoŽ among the 'cast of vivid characters' in Nicholas Hytner's National Theatre memoir

26 April 2017 20:08

If you've ever wondered what it's like to lead a major cultural institution, Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre by one of ZoŽ's directors, Nicholas Hytner, will be essential reading. As the Radio Times points out, there's a 'cast of vivid characters in the book: generations of actors (Simon Russell Beale, Rory Kinnear, ZoŽ Wanamaker) and writers whom Hytner has nurtured'.

During his hugely successful tenure as the National's Artistic Director (2003-2015), Hytner oversaw or was directly involved with a number of shows featuring ZoŽ. He was at the theatre's helm when the first Travelex £10 season, which included His Girl Friday (2003), was introduced, helping to make theatre accessible to wider audiences. He directed the celebrated 2007 revival of Much Ado About Nothing. He pioneered NT Live cinema screenings of plays including The Cherry Orchard (2011). His insights are bound to be fascinating.

Balancing Acts will be published on 27 April. You can also hear Hytner himself read from it on Radio 4's Book of the Week, from 1-5 May at 9:45am (repeated 12:30am).

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First glimpse of ZoŽ as Joan Littlewood in BBC's Babs trailer

24 April 2017 15:13

The BBC has just released the first trailer for Babs, its forthcoming biopic of bubbly actress and national treasure Barbara Windsor. The clips give us our first glimpse of ZoŽ as radical theatre director Joan Littlewood, one of Windsor's early mentors.

'If you're not careful, you'll end up playing this sexy little blonde for the rest of your life,' Littlewood warns the starlet (played by Jaime Winstone).

The trailer doesn't specify a broadcast date, but hopefully we won't have long to wait now for what promises to be a fascinating BBC One drama.

Updated 26 April: It looks as if the next issue of both the Radio Times and TV Times will feature Babs. That suggests we can expect to see the programme on our screens sometime between 6 and 12 May.

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News round-up: Such Rotten Luck, great photos and the Bardathon!

18 April 2017 23:06

Such Rotten Luck's welcome return

Thanks to BBC Radio 4 Extra, there's a rare chance to hear Ronald Hayman's witty comedy-drama Such Rotten Luck again. ZoŽ stars alongside Tim Pigott-Smith, who sadly died recently, in the series. It was first broadcast in 1989 and follows the struggles of a second-class writer and his long-suffering wife. The chemistry between ZoŽ and her co-star is brilliant, making every episode a real treat.

Such Rotten Luck's first episode, 'The Little Grey Man', airs on 20 April at 9:30am with further chances to listen at 4:30pm that afternoon and (for any real early birds!) 4:30am the following day.

Lovely photo with a canine chum

Over 20 years after Such Rotten Luck, ZoŽ and Tim Pigott-Smith featured as another married couple in Wodehouse in Exile (originally called An Innocent Abroad). In BBC Four's moving 2013 film about PG Wodehouse's wartime experiences, ZoŽ again plays the wife of a writer (although a rather more acclaimed one this time!).

Mary Tavy Dog Grooming recently shared this lovely photo of ZoŽ holding a cute Pekingese called Adam. ZoŽ believes it was taken during the making of the film. (You may remember that her character, Ethel, owns an adorable lapdog.)

Attending the National's Up Next gala

Last month, ZoŽ attended the National Theatre's biennial fundraising gala, Up Next, in London. She was photographed at the event in a chic, sparkly outfit. Other well-known special guests included Olivia Coleman, Lenny Henry and Penelope Wilton.

Up Next was a huge success, raising more than £1 million for the NT's Learning department. The money will help to improve young people's access to theatre and the other arts (a cause close to ZoŽ's heart).

Watching a record-breaking performance

Whatsonstage.com recently highlighted some of the greatest theatre-related world records, including the 'Bardathon', which ZoŽ visited during summer 1987. Actor Adrian Hilton recited Shakespeareís complete works over four days, close to where Shakespeareís Globe now stands in London, becoming the holder of the Guinness World Record for the longest solo theatrical performance!

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ZoŽ plays a key role in the prestigious 2017 Olivier Awards

15 April 2017 03:23

On 9 April, ZoŽ and her husband, Gawn Grainger, joined other leading lights from the UK theatre industry at the Olivier Awards 2017 in London. For the second year running, ZoŽ was chosen to provide the voiceover for the prestigious ceremony, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall. She also appeared on stage twice during the course of the evening, wearing a show-stopping long black dress.

Backstage at the event, ZoŽ was photographed laughing, as well as in a more reflective mood.

The face of our delightful voiceover, Zoe Wanamaker! \ud83d\udcf8 @darrenphotog #olivierawards #theatre #london #backstage

A post shared by Olivier Awards (@olivierawards) on

#actress #ZoeWanamaker #backstage at the #OlivierAwards @olivierawards #behindthescenes @gettyentertainment #shotoniPhone7 #iPhone7Plus

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When the nominations for the Virgin Atlantic Best New Play were announced, she was invited to speak briefly to the audience about the compelling nature of Nick Payne's Elegy, in which she starred last year at the Donmar Warehouse as a woman battling a neurological disorder. 'Elegy is set in the very near future, exploring a world where the brain is no longer a mystery to us. But Nick's play asks at what cost?' ZoŽ emphasised. 'As part of its original cast, [having] play[ed] one of its three fantastic characters alongside Barbara Flynn and Nina Sosanya, I'm delighted that Elegy has been nominated tonight. Nick has written a play for today.'

Unfortunately, Zoe's speech wasn't included in the Olivier Awards' TV coverage on ITV1 (the broadcast slot was shorter than the ceremony itself). However, a couple of great photos of her making the speech have been released. Elegy lost out to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the winner of an unprecedented nine Oliviers) in the end; nevertheless, its nomination for such a major award pays tribute to the tremendous talents of the writer and cast.

Towards the end of the ceremony, ZoŽ and her husband were among more than 60 members of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company who gathered on stage to celebrate Branagh's Society of London Theatre Special Award. Having both appeared in the company's 2015-16 Plays at the Garrick season in the West End (ZoŽ in All On Her Own/Harlequinade, Gawn in The Entertainer), they looked delighted to be honouring their friend and colleague.

Thank you, Karoline, for your help and images of the souvenir brochure.

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Site design and original text © 2002 - 2017 www.zoewanamaker.com, unless specified otherwise.
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.
This site is a non-commercial endeavour.