Maryland

Maryland – The Reviews

Guardian: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 25 minutes of female fury that speaks for us all

The Telegraph: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ A righteous howl of rage against the violence faced by women

The Independent: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An angry, galvanising call to action on women’s safety

Evening Standard: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ [Maryland] feels horribly, depressingly necessary.

iNews: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A furious, cathartic alarm call against the violence women live with on a daily basis

Refinery 29: Maryland Tackles Violence Against Women In A Way You’ve Never Seen Before

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Maryland – BBC Two – Watch Now

Maryland the stunning and affective film is now available on BBC iPlayer.

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.

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Maryland – BBC Two – 20 July

BBC Press Office has announced the TX date for Maryland – written by playwright Lucy Kirkwood and starring Daniel Mays, Zawe Ashton, and Hayley Squires. Premiering on Wednesday, 20 July on BBC Two and iPlayer.

First seen at the Royal Court in London in 2021 and a fictional artistic response to recent real-life events, the play grapples with the violence women are forced to reckon with in their everyday lives. This new 30-minute adaptation, co-directed with acclaimed documentary-maker Brian Hill, tells the story of two everywomen, both called Mary, and a chorus of modern day furies as they deliver their stories of assault.

Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires play the lead roles of two individual Marys, who meet at a police station in the aftermath of their respective sexual assaults. They are supported by a cast of furies who rail against the injustices the women face both in the events of the play, and in the wider world. It will TX on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on 20 July at 10pm.

Lucy Kirkwood says: “I wrote the original play as a howl against the way we have normalised violence against women as something to be accommodated by women themselves, rather than protested by all of us. Against the way that women, especially women of colour, cannot at present even rely on the forces of law and order to protect or respect their bodies. Against the recent deaths of women including Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman and Sabina Nessa in particular, and the anxiety and fear which we culture girls to expect and accept in general.

“I hope the film will give new oxygen to that protest, but I wish it was not still such an urgent conversation.”

Suzy Klein, Head of Arts and Classical Music TV at the BBC, says: “Lucy Kirkwood is one of the most exciting voices in British theatre, whose work has won awards for its portrayal of issues around social justice, climate change and politics.

“Maryland brings Lucy’s searing, incisive vision to the issue of male violence against women and I’m really proud to have it broadcast on the BBC with this extraordinary cast. It’s not a piece that gives any easy answers to one of the most pressing social problems of our time, but it’s impossible to look away from this compelling play – a work brought to us by one of the most trusted and sensitive voices in contemporary drama.”

Full cast list:

Mary: Hayley Squires

Also Mary: Zawe Ashton

PC Moody: Daniel Mayes

PC Eddowes: Justine Mitchell

Furies: Zainab Hasan, Jennifer Joseph, Sarah Lam, Gabriella Leon, Sarah Woodward

Maryland is a Century Films production for BBC Film. The producer is Caroline Levy, the directors are Brian Hill and Lucy Kirkwood and the executive producers are Vicky Featherstone and Lucy Morrison for the Royal Court and Suzy Klein and Rose Garnett for the BBC.

We hope that you will watch this important and relevant film on Wednesday 20 July at 10PM on BBC Two.

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