Have you a paper bag handy because I am going to say something that might make you hyperventilate a bit. Jamie Dornan is starring in... OK grab that bag. Yes, Northern Irish model turned actor, and Mr Grey himself Dornan is starring in a new BBC period drama that looks set to have you gripped from start to finish. The story itself is set in Northern Ireland and from the trailer alone, it is clear that the scenery is super lush and verdant. But where was Death And Nightingales filmed?
Well, in actual fact the show was shot quite true to the story itself, and is in fact filmed in the beautiful rolling countryside of Fermanagh. Yeah, forget about Fifty Shades of Grey y'all, this is forty shades of green. According to The Sun the period piece was filmed over the blistering summer that was summer 2K18. OMG, how long ago does that feel am I right?
The show is based on a 1992 book from the incredible mind of Irish author Eugene McCabe, and is a murky AF period drama set in 19th century Northern Ireland. It involves the never ending saga that is border based conflict between the South and North of Ireland.
The story told is that of Beth Winters, played by Anne Skelly — a young woman who's life is in an utter state of disarray and despondency. As she approaches her 25th birthday, she decides to change that. She chooses to escape her life, running away from the pain. It sounds like your run of the mill, growing up and carving your own path type story, right? Aw hell no, it is far darker than that. Guys, it has death in the title. The synopsis for the show is
"As decades of pain and betrayal finally build to a devastating climax, Death and Nightingales is a powerful and gripping drama that follows a woman struggling to control her own destiny and will illuminate tensions that tear both families and nations apart."
Death And Nightingales revolves around Winter's relationships, namely with two men, and the intensity and depth of those relationships. All of this coupled with tensions between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland during a spate of bomb attacks in the 1880s known as the Fenian dynamite campaign.
Matthew Rhys plays Billy Winters, Beth's step father, a widower of ten years and a violent and complex man. It is the appearance of Dornan's character Liam Ward that really sets her world on fire and opens up the opportunity for change. The book is adapted for screen and directed by Allan Cubitt, who is best known for his work on the hit show The Fall, which also starred Dornan. Speaking to The Guardian, he described the story as "...a revenge tragedy, rather than a psychological thriller."
Cubitt also discussed how the book was written during "The Troubles," and being brought to our screens in a time where once again, Ireland is having its welfare jeopardised by the UK.
"Eugene wrote it in 1992 against the backdrop of the Troubles, so it feels both a powerful historical story and a very contemporary one. It has complex characters, powerful themes and a clash within social spheres, and that was what appealed to me. It’s a proper serious piece with serious themes."
The story is set over a 24 hour period, and will be shown in three parts. In the vain of, what a difference a day makes — this show will have you gripped from start to finish.