Maryland began life as a stage play at the Royal Court. It was described by writer, Lucy Kirkwood, as a “howl” of rage against male violence. She wrote it very soon after the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. When director, Brian Hill heard about it, he contacted Lucy to ask whether Maryland could be turned into a film, so that lots of people could see it?
Within 24 hours of Kirkwood saying yes, Hill contacted the BBC and received a strong expression of interest. The film was subsequently green lit by BBC Arts and BBC Films.
Lucy adapted her stage play into a screenplay and the production quickly attracted a brilliant cast; including Danny Mays, Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires. As the action unfolds, it is commented on and underpinned by a group of Furies, a kind of Greek chorus of murdered women. Although we are dealing with a very dark and difficult subject, Maryland has flashes of wit and humour that help to make it a compelling watch.
The two female leads (Ashton and Squires) are both called Mary in the film, and both have been recently sexually assaulted by a man. They meet at the police station and enter into the world that victims of assault have to endure. Guiding them through this world is police constable Moody (Mays) and his colleague PC Eddowes (Justine Mitchell).
The film is shot in a non- naturalistic way, which gives a nod to its roots in theatre and stops it from being another police procedural.
Throughout the narrative, the Furies pop up in various situations. The rest of the cast are unaware of them, but we as the audience see them.
Maryland was co-directed by Hill and Kirkwood. The producer is Caroline Levy.
The commissioning editors from the BBC are Suzy Klein (Arts) and Rose Garnett (BBC Films).
A Century Films production for BBC Two
1 x 25minsCastMary- Hailey SquiresAlso Mary- Zawe Ashton PC Moody- Danny MaysPC Eddowes- Justine Mitchell Fury 1- Jennifer Joseph Fury 2- Zainab HasanFury 3- Sarah LamFury 4- Gabriella LeonFury 5- Sarah WoodwardWritten byLucy KirkwoodOriginal Score byNainita DesaiDirector of PhotographySusanne SalavatiEditorDavid Charap Unit Production ManagerJoanne DixonHead of Production for Century FilmsVicky RansonPost Production by Roundtable Post ProductionProduced byCaroline LevyDirected by Brian Hill and Lucy Kirkwood
"The Guardian"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 25 minutes of female fury that speaks for us all
"The Independent"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An angry, galvanising call to action on women’s safety
"iNews"⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A furious, cathartic alarm call against the violence women live with on a daily basis
"The Telegraph"⭐⭐⭐⭐ A righteous howl of rage against the violence faced by women
"The Evening Standard"⭐⭐⭐⭐ [Maryland] feels horribly, depressingly necessary.