Maryland: BBC Two release date, trailer, and cast with Zawe Ashton, Hayley Squires, and Daniel Mays

Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires star in a new BBC Two adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s play Maryland

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Maryland, a television adaptation of the play of the same name by Lucy Kirkwood, is set to air on BBC Two on Wednesday 20 July.

The play, which stars Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires, follows two women who meet in a police station after reporting a sexual assault.

Here’s everything you need to know about Maryland.

What is Maryland about?

Maryland is about two women, both called Mary, who meet in a police station, waiting after reporting sexual assault. The play is an attempt to grapple with violence against women, both in terms of what the characters experience in the play and on a broader cultural level.

Writer Lucy Kirkwood explained that she “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.”

Who stars in Maryland?

Hayley Squires as Mary and Zawe Ashton as Mary, waiting together in a non-descript corridor (Credit: BBC)Hayley Squires as Mary and Zawe Ashton as Mary, waiting together in a non-descript corridor (Credit: BBC)
Hayley Squires as Mary and Zawe Ashton as Mary, waiting together in a non-descript corridor (Credit: BBC)

Hayley Squires plays Mary, one of the women reporting her experience of sexual assault. Squires has previously starred in the Channel 4 drama Adult Material, as well as the Apple TV+ gothic romance The Essex Serpent. You might also recognise her from films I, Daniel Blake and Happy New Year, Colin Burstead.

Zawe Ashton plays Also Mary, another woman reporting her experience of sexual assault. Ashton is probably best known for her lead role in university comedy Fresh Meat, but you might also know her from shows like Wanderlust and The Handmaid’s Tale, or films like Velvet Buzzsaw and Nocturnal Animals. She can next be seen in period drama Mr Malcolm’s List and superhero movie The Marvels.

Daniel Mays plays PC Moody, an officer taking statements from the Marys. Mays is recognisable for playing a number of police officers, having starred in Des, Line of Duty, Code 404, and Ashes to Ashes amongst other series.

They’re joined by Justine Mitchell (Conversations with Friends) as PC Eddowes, and Zainab Hasan (Casualty, Yellow Bus), Jennifer Joseph (Paradise), Sarah Lam (Back to Life), Gabriella Leon (Casualty), and Sarah Woodward (Quiz) as the Furies, a sort of Greek chorus expressing the emotions of the Marys.

Who writes and directs Maryland?

Maryland was written by Lucy Kirkwood, a playwright best known for theatre work such as Tinderbox, The Children, and It Felt Empty When the Heart Went At First but It Is Alright Now. On television, she’s written the Channel 4 series Adult Material and Chimerica, and a number of episodes of Skins.

Kirkwood has co-directed this adaptation of Maryland with Brian Hill, a documentary-maker. Hill is best-known for the 1994 – 2011 series Cutting Edge; more recently, he directed A Pandemic Poem: Where Did the World Go?.

Is there a trailer for Maryland?

Not currently, no, but if one is made available we’ll update this piece with it.

When is Maryland on television?

Maryland airs on BBC Two on Wednesday 20 July at 10pm.

You’ll also be able to watch Maryland on BBC iPlayer.

How many episodes is Maryland?

Maryland has been adapted into one thirty-minute short film.

Is Maryland based on a play?

Yes, it is. Maryland the play was first performed a year ago, in London’s Royal Court Theatre. Lucy Kirkwood has explained that she wrote the play in the response to “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”.

Why should I watch Maryland?

Because Ashton and Squires are both talented dramatic actors.

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