Ruth Wilson to star in BBC's Magdalene Laundries drama 'The Woman in the Wall'

Ruth Wilson will star in a gothic thriller based on one of Ireland's biggest scandals for the BBC. (Getty)
Ruth Wilson will star in a gothic thriller based on one of Ireland's biggest scandals for the BBC. (Getty)

Ruth Wilson is set to star in a gothic thriller for BBC One based on Ireland's shocking scandal of the Magdalene Laundries.

Six-part series The Woman in the Wall sees Luther star Wilson lead the cast as Lorna Brady, a woman from the small, fictional town of Kilkinure, who wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house.

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The discovery is made even more chilling by the fact that Lorna has no idea who the dead woman is or if she herself might be responsible for the apparent murder - because she has suffered from sleepwalking for her whole adult life.

Lorna's sleepwalking began when she was 15 and ripped away from her home life to be imprisoned in the Kilkinure Convent, home to one of Ireland's infamous Magdalene Laundries - a place where women were sent for supposed moral crimes including adultery and teen pregnancies.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Ruth Wilson poses in the green room during day three of the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at BFI Southbank on May 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Ruth Wilson also executive produces the series. (Getty Images)

Although the convent has long since closed, Lorna and the other women who were sent there are unable to forget the horror they faced.

Meanwhile, Detective Colman Akande (Daryl McCormack) is also chasing her for a crime seemingly unrelated to the dead woman in her house, but with his own secrets to bear, they are both left desperately searching for answers about their pasts.

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Creator and executive producer Joe Murtagh said: “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.

The Affair- Series1
The actor is known for her role in The Affair with Dominic West. (Sky)

"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.”

The Affair and His Dark Materials star Wilson, who is also executive producer, added: “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.”

The BBC production is being made in partnership with Showtime.

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