Not Tangier but Tarifa… where Sky’s Little Birds was filmed

We could all do with a bit of glamorous debauchery this August, albeit vicarious, and it looks like Little Birds, the six-part series starting on Sky Atlantic tonight is going to deliver louche behaviour in spades. Based on Anaïs Nin’s short story collection of the same name, the drama is set in the international zone of Tangier in the 1955. Sounds sultry, sensual and sexy already, doesn’t it?

It stars Juno Temple as Lucy Savage – not to be confused with Lily Savage, although Paul O’Grady’s alter ego might fit into this rather well – an American heiress who comes to the decadent Moroccan city to marry her fiancé, Hugo Cavendish-Smyth, played by Hugh Skinner, who you might recognize from Fleabag and The Crown. Things don’t go as planned, you won’t be surprised to hear. The cast also includes Rossy de Palma, so I think we can expect a lot of high camp and a few laughs too.

The series was made by Warp Films, written by Sophia Al-Maria and directed by Stacie Passon. As they were unable to get the necessary permits to film in Tangier, they ended up shooting in Tarifa on the Costa de la Luz in Cádiz province on the southern tip of Spain instead – as well as in Manchester.

Tarifa is actually only 24 miles from Tangier across the Strait of Gibraltar and has a bit of a north African feel – as well as having a laidback vibe with plenty of bohemian decadence of its own – so must have been a pretty good substitute with all sorts of locations – grand old houses for parties, narrow lanes to flee down and spectacular beaches for moments of dramatic scenes.

Although it is difficult to go to Spain at the moment, I’m sure a lot of people will be googling Tarifa as they watch tonight and planning a trip for as soon as things get going again – debauchery optional but recommended.




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