Two perspectives on Maryland

Published: 21 November 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Maryland - script-in-hand readings in Nottingham and London

East Midlands' New Perspectives is to stage a one-off script-in-hand reading of Lucy Kirkwood’s Maryland, raising money for Nottingham Sexual Violence Support Services (formerly Rape Crisis Nottingham).

Taking place in Nottingham’s Nonsuch studios and directed by New Perspectives artistic director Angharad Jones, assisted by Hannah Stone, the reading follows a similar event at London's Royal Court after which the performance script was made available free of charge to organisations interested in staging a script-in-hand reading.

At the same time as New Perspectives reading, London audiences will get another chance to see the play when a performance will be given by London's Theatre Royal Stratford East directed by Eva Sampson at Stratford Youth Zone supporting Rape Crisis England & Wales.

The thirty-minute play is Kirkwood’s response to the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa which she wrote in two days. She said of it, “this play was for many years a private conversation with myself. The horrific murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa this year have galvanised me into making it public. I hesitate to even call it a play when it is simply a howl, a way of expressing what I feel about a culture of violence against women, but I am sharing it because I wonder if it might express a little of what other people feel about it too. It was written very quickly, and I am grateful to the Royal Court for snatching up a gauntlet thrown down last Friday night with such energy, care and seriousness.”

Angharad Jones added, "It feels incredibly important to me to present this reading as my first statement as Artistic Director of New Perspectives and for this piece to be seen and heard by audiences in our home city of Nottingham and where, recently, we have been highlighted in the national and international press due to the high number of shocking incidents of spiking by injection in nightclubs. Maryland is a play for now. It is devastating. And fuelled with rage. We're angry. And damn straight we should be! And we will shout about it. Loudly...”

The performances of Maryland take place on 25 November at Nonsuch Studios Nottingham and at Stratford Youth Zone London. Age recommendation 14+ (references to sexual assault, violence and murder).