Maryland began life as a stage play at the Royal Court in 2021. It was described by writer Lucy Kirkwood as a ‘howl’ of rage against male violence, written over 48 hours following the violent, high-profile murders of several women in 2020/21. After its first performance, acclaimed documentary maker and director Brian Hill worked with Lucy to bring the script to life for the BBC.
Lucy has adapted the stage play into a screenplay, and the production features an outstanding cast, including Daniel Mays, Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires. Whilst dealing with a very dark and difficult subject, Maryland has flashes of wit and humour that make it a compelling watch.
Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires play the lead roles of two women, both named Mary, who meet at a police station in the aftermath of their respective sexual assaults. Guiding them through this world is PC Moody and his colleague PC Eddowes. They are supported by a cast of Furies, similar to a Greek chorus, who rail against the injustices the women face, both in the events of the play and in the wider world.