Ruth Wilson to Star in Gothic Thriller ‘The Woman in the Wall’ Series for Showtime, BBC

“The Affair” actress stars opposite Daryl McCormack

Ruth Wilson (Getty Images)
Getty Images

“The Affair” star Ruth Wilson is returning to Showtime for a new gothic thriller drama, which examines the legacies of The Magdalene Laundries — “The Woman in the Wall.”

Wilson will star in the six-episode series for the premium cable network and the BBC, opposite “Peaky Blinders” alum Daryl McCormack.

In the series, Wilson plays Lorna Brady, “a woman from the small fictional town of Kilkinure, 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. … That’s because Lorna has long suffered from extreme bouts of sleepwalking, understood to have manifested around the time she was ripped from her life at the age of 15 and incarcerated in The Kilkinure Convent. The Convent was home to one of Ireland’s infamous Magdalene Laundries, a place where women were taken when they fell afoul of the social mores of their times – from those accused of committing adultery to teenage pregnancies. When it finally closed its doors, a score of survivors were left suffering in its wake.  Very few women were able to go on and lead relatively normal lives, others, such as Lorna, were even less fortunate in their fate. One thing all survivors had in common, is that none of them would ever forget,” per a logline from Showtime.

Detective Colman Akande (McCormack), who is described as “extremely ambitious,” is on Lorna’s “tail for a crime which is seemingly unrelated to the dead woman she’s discovered in her house. Colman quickly rose through the ranks of the Garda Síochána thanks to his natural aptitude for the job. He possesses a dark and sometimes scathing wit but there is a quiet sadness to him that even he doesn’t understand, and he’s hiding his own secrets from the world.”

Wilson will executive produce 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 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.” 

Wootliff will also direct multiple episodes. Rachna Suri is the second block’s director.

“It’s a real pleasure to announce this remarkable new series for BBC One and iPlayer,” Ben Irving, acting director of BBC Drama, said in a statement. “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. With Harry Wootliff in the director’s chair, audiences are in for six incredible hours of drama.”

The show will air on Showtime in the U.S. and BBC One and iPlayer in the U.K. It will be distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution in all other territories.