Having wrapped filming toward the end of November 2018, Showmax’s first original drama, The Girl From St Agnes will premier on Showmax 31 January 2019. Bringing a veritable eight part whodunnit series with a South African flair to the streaming platform.
Starting with the first episode, we are introduced to Lexi (Jane de Wet), drama teacher Kate (Nina Milner), school head Chris (Graham Hopkins), Shane (Tyrone Keogh), and a whole host of other diverse characters attending the prestigious St Agnes school for girls. The episode kicks off with a very South African feel to it, yet soon takes on the tense and dark feel of any murder mystery as things start looking just a little bit too simple for the seemingly open and shut case. We are introduced to several school and community personalities, and it’s not long before one feels that all is not right.
Moving to the second episode, the mood and feel of the show becomes a lot more tense. There is an urgency to uncover the truth. While the show does throw some clues and herrings, at this early stage it would be neigh impossible to start guessing. Anyone could have a secret, anyone could be guilty. Who can be trusted?
The show really does grip the viewer. The production value, talented cast, and engrossing story are sure to have the viewer wanting more. It is probably a good thing that all the episodes will be available for a binge session at the end of the month, lest we are forced to wait like the good old days, where an episode a week was all the story fulfilment allowed, and a quick chat at the water dispenser the next day would tide us over until we could once again be whisked away to this world of intrigue.
Based on the first two episodes, The Girl of St Agnes most certainly looks as if it will shape up to be a guessing game for viewers, providing a good many hours of entertainment, and with a binge session, robbing more than few of us of our sleep.
Look for The Girl from St Agnes, coming soon to Showmax.
More About The Show
“Our first Original – last year’s light-hearted comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary – had the most successful launch day of any series on Showmax ever,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax. “This is a complete change of direction: The Girl From St Agnes is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing and taps into the current conversations in South Africa about #metoo and teen sexuality.”
At St Agnes, a prestigious all-girls boarding school in the Midlands, a popular and beautiful student is found dead at the base of the old mill. Fearful of the scandal it might cause, the school is quick to declare the death of Lexi Summerveld a tragic accident.
But drama teacher Kate Ballard doesn’t believe it. On the night of her death, an upset Lexi had been trying to contact her, and Kate had ignored her. Now wracked with guilt, Kate attempts to piece together the terrible truth.
The more she investigates, the more Kate realises that she didn’t know Lexi or the school at all. Behind the imposing walls of St Agnes, Lexi’s killer won’t be the only person exposed…
Newcomer Jane De Wet was handpicked to play Lexi by legendary South African casting director Moonyeenn Lee (Tsotsi), who’s been nominated for two Emmy Awards in the last three years, for The Looming Tower and Roots.
Kate is played by Nina Milner, who modelled for Vogue Germany and at Paris Fashion Week last year and most recently starred in Troy: Fall Of A City as Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons.
Jane and Nina are joined by an impressive supporting cast that includes internationally recognised South African talent like Robert Hobbs (District 9), Tyrone Keogh (24 Hours To Live), Tessa Jubber (Wallander), Karl Thaning (Dredd) and Shamilla Miller (Troy: Fall Of A City) opposite local favourites like Celeste Khumalo (The Queen), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word), Zakeeya Patel (Isidingo), Graham Hopkins (The Lab) and three-time South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Jerry Mofokeng (Heist, Tsotsi), not to mention hot new talent like Paige Bonnin and Tristan de Beer.
The Girl From St Agnes is being produced by Quizzical Pictures, winners of the SAFTA for Best Drama for six of the last eight years, as well as a Peabody. Producer Harriet Gavshon, Quizzical Pictures’ managing director, is drawing on her own private school experiences, which sparked the original idea for the show. This is the first time Harriet has produced a series, rather than just executive producing, since 2009’s Hopeville, which won Best Drama and Miniseries at Rose d’Or, was nominated for an International Emmy, and was a finalist at Monte Carlo.
Catharine Cooke, who won this year’s Best Director In a TV Drama SAFTA for iNumber Number, co-directed the shoot with Cindy Lee, a commercials director helming her first drama series, having previously worked as the social media director on the Emmy-winning Black Mirror. Double SAFTA winner Gillian Breslin (Umlilo; 4Play: Sex Tips For Girls) is head writer. This makes Girl From St Agnes a rare TV series commissioned, produced, written and directed by women.
“What links Girl From St Agnes, Tali’s Wedding Diary and the other Showmax Originals in the pipeline is our aim to work with the best South African talent and be the home for brave, quirky and at times edgy local stories you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” says Candice. “Creating new characters that audiences come to love and follow is an incredibly rewarding experience and we want to establish a platform for more ‘Tali’s’ across varied genres.”
Binge all eight episodes first and only on Showmax from 31 January 2019.