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To be adapted and directed by Allan Cubitt, the three-part drama will see Dornan reunite with the Fall creator. Ann Skelly (Red Rock, Kissing Candice) will also star.
Based on Eugene McCabe’s 1992 novel, Death and Nightingales is a story of love, betrayal, deception and revenge, set in the beautiful haunting countryside of Northern Ireland in 1885. It’s a place where neighbors observe each other and inform, a world of spies, confessions and double dealing; where a pervading sense of beauty is shot through with menace and impending doom.
Set over a desperately tense 24-hour period, the story sees Beth Winters’ (Skelly) celebrate her 25th birthday, the day she has decided to join the charming Liam Ward (Dornan) and escape from her limited life and difficult and complex relationship with her Protestant landowner stepfather Billy (Rhys).
Death and Nightingales comes from Soho Moon and Imaginarium Productions, the growing banner from Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish that was behind last year’s Andrew Garfield-starrer Breathe and the upcoming Jungle Book adaptation Mowgli.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Allan Cubitt’s work for many years, so I’m thrilled to have been given the chance to work on Death and Nightingales alongside Jamie and Ann and return to the BBC,” said Rhys.
Added Dornan: “I’m thrilled to be reunited with Allan and his brilliant scripts to play such an intriguing character like Liam Ward and to return to Northern Ireland and BBC Two.”
“We are thrilled to combine the wonderful talents of Matthew Rhys and Jamie Dornan with the remarkable new star-in-the-making Ann Skelly,” said Cavendish.
Commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two and Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, Death and Nightingales is an Imaginarium and Soho Moon production for BBC Two. Executive producers are James Mitchell for Soho Moon and Tommy Bulfin for BBC Two.
Produced by Cavendish, Death and Nightingales is supported by Northern Ireland Screen, and Red Arrow Studios International will distribute worldwide. Filming will begin this summer in Northern Ireland.
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