The video streaming service Showmax has released its official trailer for its first locally produced drama series, The Girl from St. Agnes, with the risque series that might shock some conservative South African viewers and will likely come with a high age-restriction as the show won't shy away from nudity and divisive topics generally avoided by other locally produced TV series.
"South Africans normally turn to HBO series on Showmax for edgy content, rather than local series, which tend to be a lot more conservative, with nudity and divisive topics generally avoided. But conservative isn't a word anyone's going to use for The Girl From St. Agnes," says Showmax about the 8-episode series revolving around the murder mystery of a pupil at a private all-girls school.
The Girl from St. Agnes, produced by Quizzical Pictures and managing director and producer Harriet Gavshon, will become available on Showmax from 31 January and is distributed internationally by Red Arrow Studios International.
"When I read the scripts, I absolutely loved them. They go to the heart of the story. The fact that it's on Showmax allows it to really go there," says actor Robert Hobbs.
"There are no limitations in terms of broadcasting this - no old-school rules and regulations about what you can show live. You don't have to imply stuff; we can experience it. That is its strength. That's what makes it unique."
"Sometimes it's nice to watch something with a satisfying ending, like finding out who killed Lexi Summerveld (Jane De Wet) and why," says actress Nina Milner playing the role of Kate Ballard. "The Girl From St. Agnes has that formula that the whole world has gone mad for: shorter seasons of extremely binge-able criminal content."
Zakeeya Patel who also has a role says she "read the scripts all in one sitting, so I'm so happy that all eight episodes will be released at the same time. Once I started reading them I couldn't stop ... I literally pulled my car over on the side of the road to finish them. It was dangerous but I needed to finish them. So I went into a parking lot and motored through them on my phone, in tiny, tiny writing."
The Girl from St. Agnes was filmed in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Johannesburg with casting director Moonyeenn Lee, who handpicked the cast consisting of Nina Milner, Tyrone Keogh, Robert Hobbs, Graham Hopkins; as well as Tessa Jubber, Karl Thaning, Shamilla Miller, Jane de Wet, Paige Bonnin, Tristan de Beer; and including Zakeeya Patel, Makgotso M, Celeste Khumalo and Jocelyn Broderick.
Catharine Cooke and Cindy Lee are the co-directors.