Dubbed as Showmax’s first original drama, "The Girl From St Agnes" is a series set on breaking conventions. Not only does it use South African English, but it was commissioned, produced, written, directed and edited by women.
Cindy Lee, the series’ co-director, takes pride in how it champions talented women.
“The whole world is trying to get that formula right and we, the fledgling television country, get it right almost immediately, so to say I’m swelling with pride is an understatement. The success of The Girl From St Agnes proves that women are just as good as men when it comes to making a successful TV show.”
Lee’s first TV gig, Sober Companion, earned her a nomination for best TV drama director at the 2017 South African Film and Television Awards.
"The Girl From St Agnes" is her second TV show and sees her directing alongside 2018 Safta winner Catharine Cooke.
Lee speaks glowingly of Cooke.
“We started working on this project together right at the beginning and had each other’s back all the way through. Catharine is very generous with her time and with sharing her knowledge so I learnt a lot.”
St Agnes features a talented cast including Nina Milner, Tyrone Keogh, Robert Hobbs and Monte Carlo.
"The Girl from St Agnes" is a drama which sets out to uncover the mysterious death of a young girl at a prestigious all-girls’ boarding school in the Midlands.
Dissatisfied at the school’s insistence that this was a tragic accident, drama teacher Kate Ballard (Milner) does her own investigation.
What can audiences expect from "The Girl From St Agnes"?
“They can expect a show reminiscent of an international drama. The look, the feel, the production values make it feel international, but its core is South African. They can expect a show that makes them proud.”
Lee also explained the use of South African English throughout – not the norm in local TV dramas.
“The story takes place in a private English-speaking school. We have an amazing pool of English-speaking South African actors who don’t get to show us their talent in home-grown dramas, so I was really happy when this came along.
“And it’s easier to export English-speaking dramas.”
"The Girl From St Agnes" will be available for streaming on Showmax from 31 January.