Aug. 17 (BP) — Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack are set to star in The Woman in the Wall, an upcoming thriller about Ireland’s controversial Magdalene Laundries.
The six-episode series will premiere on the BBC and Showtime in Britain and United States, respectively, according to a report from Deadline.
Wilson will star as Lorna Brady, a woman who “wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house. Chillingly, Lorna has no idea who the dead woman is or if she herself might be responsible for the apparent murder,” according to the show’s logline from Showtime.
McCormack will co-star as a detective on Lorna’s trail, who will uncover secrets about his own past along the way.
The series will focus heavily on Lorna’s past incarceration in a convent that was run as one of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries, where she spent much of her teenage life.
Also known as Magdalene asylums, the Magdalene Laundries were institutions run by the Catholic Church from the 18th to 20th centuries that housed so-called “fallen women” — a term primarily used to refer to sexually promiscuous women or prostitutes.
Though seen in many countries, these asylums were most prevalent in Ireland, where they evolved beyond prostitutes to house criminals, the mentally disabled and domestic abuse victims.
Irish Magdalene Laundries became notorious for their horrific living conditions and strict rules for the inmates, and the last location did not close until 1996.
In addition to her starring role, Wilson will also serve as an executive producer on the show along with series creator Joe Murtagh and Harry Wootliff.
“Lorna Brady is a complex and fascinating character and I’m thrilled to help bring her to life,” Wilson said in a statement. “In The Woman in the Wall, Joe [Murtagh] 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.”
Murtagh also released a statement saying, “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 kinds of institutions and introduce this history to the wider public, so that nothing like it may ever happen again.”
“It’s a real pleasure to announce this remarkable new series for BBC One,” the acting director of BBC Drama, Ben Irving, said in a statement to TheWrap. “Joe Murtagh’s scripts are surprising, moving, and continually compelling, with two lead characters who I cannot wait to see brought to life by the extraordinary talents of Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack.”
The series will be just the latest project for Wilson, a two-time BAFTA nominee known for starring in the psychological drama Luther and the Showtime series The Affair.
McCormack is known for his work on the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders.
The Woman in the Wall is due to begin shooting this year. A release date has not yet been announced.