Key Information

3 x 60’ or 2 x 90’
Year of production
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Produced by
The Imaginarium and Soho Moon Pictures for BBC Two (UK)
Scripted > Series > Drama
New Shows > Scripted Series

Language versions



An intense and haunting new BBC drama from acclaimed writer/director Allan Cubitt, starring Matthew Rhys, Ann Skelly and Jamie Dornan.

“Death and Nightingales” is a riveting story of love and revenge, set in the beautiful countryside of Fermanagh, Ireland in 1885; a world of spies, deception and betrayal, with simmering tensions of class, politics and religion that threaten to tear the country apart. 

Set over a desperately tense 24-hour period, it is Beth Winters’ 23rd birthday – the day she has decided to join her secret lover, the charming, mysterious Liam Ward and escape from her limited life and difficult and complex relationship with her Protestant landowner stepfather, Billy. Beth and the overbearing Billy live alone, bonded not by blood but the horrific death of Catherine, Billy’s wife and Beth’s mother.  

But their world comes crashing down around them when the young lovers attempt to steal Billy’s gold. When he learns of their betrayal – and when Beth discovers a fresh grave dug by Liam that is meant for her – a devastating chain of events is set in motion in this thrillingly dark and haunting tale.

Based on Eugene McCabe’s modern Irish classic novel, “Death and Nightingales” is adapted and directed by Allan Cubitt (“The Fall”, “Prime Suspect”) and produced by Jonathan Cavendish (“Bridget  Jones’s  Diary”, “Elizabeth: The  Golden Age”). It features an all-star cast including Emmy® Award-winner Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”, “The Post”), Jamie Dornan (The “Fifty Shades” trilogy, “The Fall”) and rising new talent, Ann Skelly (“Kissing Candice”, “The Red Rock”).

Additional Information

Press acclaim

"The rarest of dramatic gems" - The Telegraph

"Jamie Dornan was perfectly rugged and irresistible and unreadable as Ward." - inews

"He's [Allan Cubitt] assembled the perfect cast to bring these complex characters to life". - Digital Spy

Cast & Crew

Allan Cubitt
Key talent(s)
Matthew Rhys, Ann Skelly and Jamie Dornan
The Imaginarium and Soho Moon Pictures for BBC Two (UK)
Allan Cubitt, from a novel by Eugene McCabe