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Zawe Ashton, Hayley Squires To Headline BBC's 'Maryland' Adaptation

Actors Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires are set to play lead roles in BBC's adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s play ‘Maryland’.

Zawe Ashton, Hayley Squires
Zawe Ashton, Hayley Squires Wikipedia

Actors Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires are set to play lead roles in BBC's adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s play ‘Maryland’. Also featuring actor Daniel Mays, the 30-minute film adaptation of the Royal Court stage show has been titled ‘Mary’. It will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on July 20, the British broadcaster said in a press release posted on its official website.

Billed as 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.

Ashton and Squires essay the lead characters of women, both called Mary, who meet at a police station in the aftermath of their respective sexual assaults.

"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,” Kirkwood said.

"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," she added.

Kirkwood and documentary filmmaker Brian Hill are co-directors of the movie, which is a Century Films production.

Ashton is best known for her work on British shows such as ‘Fresh Meat’ and ‘Not Safe for Work’. She will next play the role of the main antagonist in Marvel Studios' upcoming movie ‘The Marvels’.

Squires found fame after appearing in filmmaker Ken Loach's 2016 film ‘I, Daniel Blake’, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She most recently starred in the Apple show ‘The Essex Serpent’ and her upcoming project is Ari Aster's ‘Disappointment Blvd’, led by Joaquin Phoenix. 

[With Inputs From PTI]

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