There has been a lot of chatter about Showmax’s new original drama, The Girl From St. Agnes, which follows a murder investigation at a highly prestigious boarding school in South Africa.
For those who haven’t been keeping abreast at what has been happening, here’s what it is about:
At St Agnes, a prestigious all-girls boarding school in the Midlands, the only saint is in the name. When a popular student is found dead at the base of the old mill, the school is quick to declare the death a tragic accident. But drama teacher Kate Ballard (Nina Milner) doesn’t believe it. The more she investigates, the more Kate realises that she didn’t know the dead girl, Lexi Summerveld (Jane DeWet), or the school at all. Behind the imposing walls of St Agnes, Lexi’s killer won’t be the only person exposed.
We had the privilege to watch the first two episodes and we were captivated from beginning to end, practically counting down to the hours until all the episodes are released on Showmax.
Here’s some SPOILER-FREE points we had while watching the gripping new story:
- Everything from the score to the cinematography is excellently done
It is obvious that the entire production was of the utmost quality, the crew at Quizzical Pictures were ambitious in the project that they created. But yet, it is in the small things that depict how truly well done this show is – everything from the music to the costumes and the lighting sets the tone for exactly what the story is trying to tell.
2. Jane de Wet is mesmerizing in her role
Jane de Wet plays the role of Lexi Summerveld, the IT girl at St. Agnes, and the one whose tragic death unearths a range of secrets about the school. We meet Lexi through a series of flashbacks and it’s easy to see why so many were charmed by her, because as the audience we are charmed by her too. Similar to the characters of Alison Dilaurentis in Pretty Little Liars or Lilly Kane in Veronica Mars, they are almost like nymph-like enigma’s who we, along with the characters are eager to unmask.
3. There are a lot of new faces and some ‘I’ve seen them somewhere’ faces
A lot of the complaints about South African productions are that they use the same actors over and over, but The Girl From St. Agnes is full of fresh faces that we’ve never seen on our screens before, and others that have peppered our screens over the past couple of years. But everything about the acting in the series feels new, crisp and refreshing. It looks like nothing you’ve seen on SA TV before and that’s exactly what they are aiming for.
4. There are many facets to the story
There’s no one size fits all in The Girl From St. Agnes as we hit with many different plot points during the first two episodes. What is really going on with Lexi and her private life? What’s the principal’s secret? What was the fight between Jenna and Lexi about? Why does it seem like Jason is just dating everyone? So many questions, so many points to be interested in.
5. It’s feels South African
What I worried about when watching The Girl From St. Agnes was even though it might be good, it might lose that South African feel, it might become too westernised, it might exist in a world (like many other South African properties) where it a racial paradise and they never address actual problems. But even besides the accents, The Girl From St. Agnes feels real, there is a racial incident, violence is a real threat, alcoholism etc. It feels like a slightly more dramatic version of something that could very well happen.