A play completed after the murder of Sarah Everard as an ‘act of resistance’ to violence against women will be performed in York for the first time this week.
Two staged readings of the short play Maryland by Lucy Kirkwood are being presented by Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal.
After a run of sold out performances in London in October, the Royal Court Theatre made the play free for other theatre companies to perform in solidarity – an offer that was taken up by York theatre company Riding Lights.
Riding Lights will perform two script-in-hand performances of Maryland at Friargate Theatre on Friday (26 November) at 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
Playwright Lucy Kirkwood wrote Maryland in just two days – spurred by the murder of Sabina Nessa and the rape and murder of York woman Sarah Everard earlier this year.
“This play was for many years a private conversation with myself,” Lucy Kirkwood told the Royal Court Theatre.
“The horrific murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa this year have galvanised me into making it public.”
The play is not specific to one case though – it aims to address issues of police behaviour and a culture of violence against women and girls.
“I hesitate to even call it a play when it is simply a howl.”
At 30 minutes, Maryland is performed with scripts and using minimal set.
The play will be directed by Bridget Foreman, associate director for Riding Lights.
“Violence against women is a persistent canker in society,” said acting general manager for Riding Lights, Bernadette Burbridge.
“This is a moment in which Riding Lights can seize the offer from the Royal Court to speak loudly through art.
“To amplify this cry of protest as loudly as possible, we hope these performances will be sold out and that audiences will include as many men as women.”
Tickets for Maryland are available for £5, and audience members will be invited to make a recommended donation of £7 or more to SURVIVE, a York based charity supporting survivors of sexual abuse.
For more information and to book your tickets, please visit the Riding Lights website.