Shadow and Bone

Zoë plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one and two are streaming now on Netflix.

Criminal Record

Zoë plays the fragile mother of a young detective reinvestigating an old murder case in this crime drama series currently streaming on Apple TV+.


Zoë contributes to Exeunt: The Stage Door Project

31 March 2022 19:55

Zoë is among the actors and other theatre professionals who've contributed to Exeunt: The Stage Door Project, a book launched earlier this month to celebrate the magic of London's stage doors.

Magic is very much the theme of Zoë's contribution; she describes a stage door as ‘a portal into a different and secret world', where transformative experiences occur. The public isn't normally allowed to enter the stage door (though theatregoers often wait outside in the hope of meeting their favourite actors), which lends this area of a theatre an air of mystery.

Appropriately enough, Zoë's words appear alongside a photo of the stage door at the Bridge Theatre, where Two Ladies, the last play Zoë performed before the pandemic, was staged.

Exeunt is the brainchild of two up-and-coming actors, Lloyd McDonagh and Salvatore Scarpa. All of the stage door photos in the book were taken by them during the lockdowns of 2020; an unprecedented time for the theatre industry, when all UK theatres were forced to close (or go dark, as temporary closure is known in the industry) and theatre professionals were left without work. As a result, the photos have a compelling, haunting quality. Stage door areas are normally bustling places, but the book is a record of a period when they were empty and silent.

Published by Renard Press, Exeunt has a distinctive dark design, reflecting the fact that it was created when all of the theatres it features were dark. Other contributors include Judi Dench, Simon Callow, Sharon D. Clarke, Anita Dobson and many more.

You can buy the book from Renard and other retailers and support the theatre industry at the same time. That's because proceeds from the book's sales will benefit three theatre-related charities: the Actors’ Benevolent Fund, ArtsMinds and The Theatre Artists Fund.

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Three plays starring Zoë you can stream today

17 January 2022 19:41

We’re incredibly fortunate that some of Zoë’s performances on stage over the years have been filmed.

Here’s a trio of plays to enjoy right now...

1. All My Sons from Digital Theatre

It’s summer 2010 and a revival of Arthur Miller classic All My Sons is wowing West End audiences at the Apollo Theatre. ‘David Suchet and Zoë Wanamaker are astonishing’, declares Time Out magazine amid a sea of glowing reviews for this powerful play, directed by Howard Davies.

All My Sons takes place in a well-to-do American neighbourhood just after World War II. Zoë and her co-star play grief-stricken Kate and Joe Keller, whose son, Larry, is believed to have been killed in the conflict. Kate desperately clings to the hope that her boy will return. How will she and Joe react when they discover Larry’s ex-fiancée is now in love with their other son?

The ensuing confrontations expose painful secrets.

Zoë and David Suchet both won WhatsOnStage Awards for their stunning performances in this nail-bitingly tense drama. If you think you can handle the tension (!), stream All My Sons from Digital Theatre. There’s the option to rent the play for 48 hours or watch it as part of a subscription package.

Check out the clips on YouTube for a taste of what to expect.

2. The Cherry Orchard from National Theatre at Home

Another revival of a theatrical big-hitter, this time a drama by Chekhov, graced the National Theatre’s Olivier stage the following year. The Cherry Orchard was also directed by Howard Davies and starred Zoë as a spirited Russian aristocrat, Madame Ranyevskaya.

Ranyevskaya returns to her family home and beloved cherry orchard, having frittered away much of her fortune abroad. The noblewoman seems unable to comprehend the danger of her perilous financial position as Russia edges towards its 1917 revolution.

Zoe’s insightful, moving portrayal of beleaguered Ranyevskaya was highly acclaimed. As the Guardian newspaper’s review noted, ‘Zoe Wanamaker plays Ranyevskaya excellently as a woman who combines utter financial recklessness with a fierce emotional intelligence’.

The performance of The Cherry Orchard that took place on 30 June 2011 was broadcast live in cinemas around the world as part of National Theatre Live (I remember it well!).

You can stream that performance from National Theatre at Home, either by renting the play for 72 hours or subscribing to the service.

3. Constellations from Donmar On Demand

Last summer, Zoë starred in a dazzling modern classic from the Donmar Warehouse: Constellations by Nick Payne, directed by Michael Longhurst. For this West End revival at the Vaudeville Theatre, she and Peter Capaldi portrayed quirky quantum physicist Marianne and awestruck beekeeper Roland. Audiences experienced multiple versions of their relationship as the plot played with the concept of multiple realities.

Appropriately enough, Constellations had multiple casts. Zoë and her co-star were one of four pairs of actors taking on this intense, funny, poignant play.

In its five-star review of Constellations, BroadwayWorld UK emphasised that in the role of Marianne ‘Wanamaker is brilliant; needy, intelligent, neurotic and desperate for control. As she confronts her own mortality, Wanamaker shows a huge range of emotion, from desperation to quiet acceptance.’

If you fancy journeying through the multiverse with Zoë and Peter Capaldi, you can stream Constellations from Donmar On Demand until 31 January. Choose between renting the play for 24 hours or renting it alongside the other casts’ performances for 14 days.

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Constellations – now streaming until the end of January!

8 January 2022 03:37

Last summer, Zoë and Peter Capaldi brought Nick Payne’s Constellations to dazzling life in London’s West End. The Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed production, which also starred three other casts, has since been named one of the top ten shows of 2021 by Theatre Weekly.

‘Exceptional performances from Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah, Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker, Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey, and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O’Dowd made this one of the must-see theatre events of the year,’ says the magazine.

The Stage and WOS Awards nominations

The actors, director Michael Longhurst and the rest of the talented team behind this revival of Constellations are celebrating other accolades too.

- The show has been nominated for Innovation of the Year in The Stage Awards 2022, thanks to its multi-cast format. (We’ll find out if it’s been chosen as the winner of the award on 31 January.)

- Constellations has also earned a nomination for Best Play Revival in the 22nd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards. You have until 21 January to vote for your favourites in the latter.

Another chance to watch 5* Constellations

What better way to celebrate Constellations’ success than by watching Zoë as quirky quantum physicist Marianne fall in (or out of or back in) love with Peter Capaldi’s awestruck beekeeper, Roland?

The production was filmed during its run at the Vaudeville Theatre (where it broke box-office records) and originally made available to stream late last year via the Donmar On Demand website. Now, I’m thrilled to say the Donmar has made Constellations available to stream again worldwide until 31 January – with 50% off the price! You can rent one version for 24 hours or all four for 14 days (i.e. the same play performed by the four different pairs of actors – a chance to compare, contrast and marvel).

The Reviews Hub gives Zoë and Peter Capaldi's filmed version of Constellations a five-star rating and highlights the endearing ‘mature playfulness’ she and her co-star bring to their portrayal of Marianne and Roland. ‘Capaldi is sometimes quick to explode, but so too is he funny and tender. Wanamaker can be self-protective and spiky but also sweetly mischievous. It’s a delightful pairing that makes much of the bittersweet tone of the piece,' the review concludes.

This utterly original play presents multiple versions of the characters’ relationship. It’s a story full of possibilities – and rewards multiple viewings. So whether you watched Constellations live, streamed it last year or will stream it this January, you’re sure to enjoy your journey through the multiverse...

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Three new BBC radio collections featuring Zoë

7 November 2021 23:54

The BBC has joined forces with publisher Penguin to release three collections of archive radio programmes featuring Zoë.

This is particularly exciting news because the recordings are rare (to the best of my knowledge, some were previously only available from the British Library) and encompass a diverse range of genres.

Plus, who doesn’t like listening to Zoë’s fantastic voice?!

Such Rotten Luck: Series 1 & 2

Such Rotten Luck: Series 1 & 2 includes all 12 episodes of Ronald Hayman’s witty, wonderfully bizarre Radio 4 comedy-drama, starring Zoë and Tim Pigott-Smith. The directors were Piers Plowright and Paul Schlesinger.

Originally broadcast in 1989 and 1991, Such Rotten Luck chronicles the ups and downs of a struggling, second-class writer, Woodhouse, who’s prone to flights of fancy, and his pragmatic, increasingly exasperated wife, Gila. (As a second-class writer myself, I have to admit that the programme rings painfully true!)

Woodhouse tries his hand at everything from penning the life story of an obscure German novelist to song-writing sessions with sidekick Seamus (played by Stephen Rea). By the second series, Woodhouse and his wife are preparing for parenthood, but his head is still in the clouds – and Gila’s patience is wearing thin...

Although Such Rotten Luck is occasionally repeated on Radio 4 Extra (it was most recently broadcast in 2020), this is the first time it’s been available to buy. The collection has a suggested price of £13. You can listen to a clip from the start of episode one via Audible.

David Hare: A BBC Radio Drama Collection

One of Britain’s leading playwrights is celebrated with David Hare: A BBC Radio Drama Collection, which features full-cast productions of eight of his plays.

Among them is Radio 3’s 1987 version of The Bay at Nice, directed by Richard Wortley. Zoë and Irene Worth play two Russian women: the unfulfilled wife of a bureaucrat, Sophia Yepileva, and her formidable mother, Valentina Nrovka, respectively.

Zoë and her co-star had first performed the play at London’s National Theatre the previous year. It takes place in 1956 at Leningrad Art Museum, where the assistant curator has asked Valentina to authenticate a painting with the same title as the play itself. Could the picture be the work of Matisse, the legendary artist Valentina met during her carefree days in Paris?

Valentina eventually exchanged her bohemian lifestyle for the communist regime. Now Sophia must decide whether to give up her material comforts for love.

David Hare: A BBC Radio Drama Collection will be released on 25 November. The suggested price is £13.

Patricia Highsmith: The BBC Radio Collection

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was an American author with a reputation for crafting taut psychological thrillers, including Strangers on a Train. Patricia Highsmith: The BBC Radio Collection is billed by Penguin as ‘[t]he definitive collection of dramatisations and readings of Patricia Highsmith’s finest fiction’.

It includes Zoë’s reading of an abridged, ten-part version of Carol, the author’s tender yet unsettling 1952 lesbian romance novel also known as The Price of Salt. The programme was first broadcast in 1991, shortly after the novel had been reissued, and aired as part of Radio 4’s popular A Book at Bedtime series.

‘Nineteen-year-old Therese is an aspiring stage designer. Carol is older, sophisticated, beautiful and married. When they meet by chance in a crowded store at Christmas, their passionate love affair begins,’ explained the Radio Times back in 1991.

Patricia Highsmith: The BBC Radio Collection will be released on 27 January. The suggested price is £16.

Where to buy these audio downloads

You can buy (or pre-order) the collections mentioned above from Hive, Kobo, Audible and Amazon. Please bear in mind they’re audio downloads rather than CDs.

Happy listening!

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Watch Constellations at home – streaming now

4 November 2021 01:40

Journey through the multiverse without even having to leave your home – Constellations is available to watch on demand worldwide until 29 November, thanks to the Donmar Warehouse’s new streaming service.

Watch Zoë and Peter Capaldi take to the stage at London’s Vaudeville Theatre (where the play broke box office records this summer) as quantum physicist Marianne and beekeeper Roland and explore multiple, compelling versions of the characters’ relationship. You can rent the production for 24 hours for just £15.

Alternatively, explore multiple versions of Nick Payne’s dazzling multiverse play by renting all four casts’ productions of Constellations, all of which were directed by Michael Longhurst and seen at the Vaudeville. That means you’ll be able to watch Zoë and Peter Capaldi, Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah, Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey, as well as Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O’Dowd. This option costs more – £40 – but gives you 14 days’ access.

The fact that anyone can now enjoy Constellations digitally when so many fans were unable to come to the theatre in person due to Covid-related travel restrictions is certainly something to celebrate.

And if you were lucky enough to see the play performed live, why not take a trip back to the multiverse by watching it on demand too? That’s what I’m hoping to do, not least because hearing the actors speak the dialogue softly rather than projecting their voices to audiences in the theatre will surely bring a whole new dimension to this multiverse play.

Fans of Zoë and her co-star are full of praise for the acting, the production and the way it’s been filmed for the Donmar On Demand service.

‘I just watched Constellations, Peter Capaldi and Zoe Wanamaker are absolutely fantastic’ – @Tempus_Fugit0

‘Okay, so I watched #Constellations like... 4 times in my 24 hours period and it hits so hard! @ZoeWanamaker and #PeterCapaldi are just sooo good and the camera work is top notch. Thank you @DonmarWarehouse for releasing this gem.’ – @StrangeSeaWolf

‘#Constellations was wonderful. #PeterCapaldi and #ZoëWanamaker were magical and heartbreaking together.’ – @AmandaDebaser

Don’t miss out – Constellations on demand is only available until 29 November.

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