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Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack lead BBC thriller The Woman in the Wall

The six-part gothic thriller will delve into the horrors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries.

Ruth Wilson.
Published: Wednesday, 17th August 2022 at 5:42 pm
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The BBC has commissioned six-part series The Woman in the Wall, starring Luther and His Dark Materials star Ruth Wilson and Peaky Blinders actor Daryl McCormack.


The gothic thriller is set in a fictional Irish town, but will explore the very real aftermath of the Magdalene Laundries.

Wilson will play Lorna Brady, who was incarcerated in one of the inhumane institutions for "fallen women" when she was 15, and who has suffered with sleepwalking ever since. One morning, she wakes to a woman's corpse in her house, and has no recollection of how it got there.

That's when Detective Colman Akande (McCormack) comes into her life, though for a crime that seemingly has nothing to do with the dead woman.

Daryl McCormack
Daryl McCormack.

Wilson will also executive produce the series, which was created by BAFTA Award-nominated Joe Murtagh (Calm With Horses). Fellow BAFTA Award-nominee Harry Wootliff (True Things, Only You) is set to direct multiple episodes alongside Rachna Suri (Half Bad).

The BBC billed the detective story as "distinct, stirring and revelatory," and teased The Woman in the Wall will have dark humour and elements of psychological horror.

Speaking of the new series, Ruth Wilson said: "Lorna Brady is a complex and fascinating character and I’m thrilled to help bring her to life. In The Woman in the Wall Joe has created both an enthralling gothic thriller and a moving examination of the legacy of The Magdalene Laundries. It’s a privilege to bring this story to screens."

Creator and executive producer Murtagh added: "My family is from Mayo, the county in which the fictional Kilkinure is set, and it deeply frustrates and saddens me that it feels so few people have heard of the Laundries that existed across Ireland.

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"I hope that by making something that has the familiarity of a genre piece we are able to shed some light on the awful things that occurred within these kind of institutions and introduce this history to the wider public, so that nothing like it may ever happen again."

Director Harry Wootliff said: "I am thrilled to be collaborating with Joe on this show and also to be reunited with Ruth, to work on something that is beautifully written, profoundly moving, and so fresh and unique in its delivery that it’s almost impossible to define."

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