Death and Nightingales

A riveting story of love, betrayal, deception and revenge

Interview with Ann Skelly (Beth Winters)

It’s a different take on a period piece with a young woman at the centre. It’s not just looking over misty hills, there’s a lot of action and terrible things happen.Ann Skelly
Date: 21.11.2018     Last updated: 21.11.2018 at 00.01
Category: BBC Two; Drama

What’s it like working on a period piece?

I’ve done two period pieces and I like the costumes and the hair and all those wonderful things and the look of it. I think it’s interesting to work within the confines of a certain lack of expression you are allowed in that time, particularly regarding corsets.

Tell us the story of Death and Nightingales?

I play Beth Winters, she lives in Fermanagh with her protestant stepfather. She’s a catholic, as was her mother who died in tragic circumstances. She’s living under a very constricted environment as it was in those days for women. Liam Ward walks into her life and starts a chain of events where she plans to run away with him.

What attracted you to the project?

I’ve never read a script like it before and I can’t believe that book existed and I didn’t know about it. It’s such a beautiful adaptation by Allan and it’s really remarkable. It’s a different take on a period piece with a young woman at the centre. It’s not just looking over misty hills, there’s a lot of action and terrible things happen.

What was it like working with Jamie Dornan and Matthew Rhys?

To work with Jamie is great as I’m a big fan of The Fall. There’s a lot of craic between takes which is great as a lot of days are very intense. Matthew Rhys is a lot of fun to do the tragic scenes with as sometimes it’s hard to find actors who are so present.

What’s it like to work with Allan Cubitt?

Allan Cubitt has adapted it and directed it too. I really liked The Fall and I think he’s a bit of a genius! He’s so brilliant to work with and lets you act. He’s not intrusive at all; he’s the perfect actor’s director and has the perfect vision for the show. His references are lovely and this feels like a special thing to work on.