Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

The Girl From St Agnes: Hard to watch but impossible to stop


By now, The Girl From St Agnes has the country talking. The murder mystery series is a collaboration between SA's award-winning Quizzical Pictures and Showmax.

After getting to preview the first episode ahead of its release, I was absolutely buzzing to dig into Showmax's first original drama. The 8-episode season drops us straight into the story as we're faced with a school where everyone has something to hide.

The Girl From St Agnes Plot Image supplied. The story follows drama teacher Kate Ballard as she struggles to come to terms with the death of one of her students, Lexi Summerveld. Kate soon finds that the upmarket school is not what it seems.

Police declare Lexi's death a tragic accident, but Kate believes something far more sinister is playing out behind the scenes. The more she investigates, the more Kate realises that she didn't really know Lexi - or the other students and teachers - at all.

Image supplied She sets out on a journey to uncover the truth and exposes far more than she hoped to find. During the course of the investigation, the secrets of the students and the staff emerge slowly.

Lexi plays a central part in the dramas of the school, and her death becomes a catalyst for exposing the many individual misdeeds among staff and students. St Agnes isn't just a place where an unfortunate event happened, it's a place where tragedies play out continually.

Dark themes intertwined with social concerns Image supplied The Girl From St Agnes centres around themes such as misogyny, teenage sexuality, identity, rape culture, sexual assault and bullying. It shares a glimpse into the life of a South African teenager, albeit a privileged one who attends an exclusive boarding school.

One of the producers, Harriet Gavshon, said it's a universal story set in an environment that's recognisable to an international audience, even though some things are very peculiar to South Africa.

Growing up in the age of social media Image supplied The show flings us headlong into the lived experience of modern teenagers as they deal with the timeless pressures to perform academically, on the sports field, and navigate the complex social hierarchy at St Agnes.

Social media features heavily during the show. For anyone who didn't go to school during the social media age, it's a timely reminder of how much more is at stake for children today when every misstep can be instantly broadcast to the world and remain there indefinitely.

Multifaceted characters Image supplied Head writer, Gillian Breslin, describes the cast as magic and lightning in a bottle. She feels that everything that was in her head is on that screen and then more, thanks to the extraordinary cast. The characters are layered, and we're often caught feeling empathy for characters who in other contexts we may despise.

Breslin promised that she'd done everything to make us understand how difficult these girls have it and to do her best to make their actions as honest as possible. She doesn't disappoint, and the scenes in the school and around the sportsfield certainly ring true.

At the helm is Nina Milner in the role of Kate Ballard, and Jane De Wet as Lexi Summerveld. Milner drives the story forward, her character naively searching for the truth. Her expressive portrayal of Ballard as she deals with her own personal problems and doggedly searches for an answer is critical to the binge-worthiness of the show.

Image supplied Milner makes us care about the story, and all the while carries the suspense as we realise along with her that St Agnes is not a simple story of good and evil.

Jane De Wet makes the most of her screen time as Lexi, though if I was going to have any complaints, I'd say that perhaps her motives could have been more deeply explored.

That said, the show's storyline focuses on the events following her death. Shamillah Miller and Paige Bonnin perform admirably as they show some of the more toxic elements of modern school life.

Image supplied Overwhelming reaction from viewers Even before its release, the trailer was viewed more than two million times on various platforms. After its release, the show broke a vital record.

In the first 24 hours, the number of unique viewers exceeds that of the previous record holder: Showmax Original Tali's Wedding Diary.

It certainly delivers and packs a punch Overall, the show is beautifully shot with the highland fog adding a dreamy foreboding element to a lot of the scenes. A Gothic atmosphere, if you will.

Image supplied The Girl From St Agnes is being compared to Netflix's Elite and 13 Reasons Why. While there are similarities, I feel that's a lazy comparison to make.

If we are going to draw comparisons, then The Girl From St Agnes resembles European series such as the masterful Tabula Rasa and spine-chilling Dark more than its American counterparts - visually and in tone.

The strong production values and a beautifully curated soundtrack make for an incredibly immersive experience that will definitely leave you watching just one more episode to see how the show reveal the many secrets of St Agnes.

Watch: The Girl From St Agnes Trailer Additional information

Season: One.

Run time: 52 min/episode.

Genre: Drama, Mystery.

Tagline: At St Agnes, the only saint is in the name.

Language: English (South African)

Production Co: Quizzical Pictures

Head writer: Gillian Breslin

Directed by: Catherin Cooke, Cindy Lee


Nina Milner as Kate Ballard, drama teacher

Graham Hopkins as Chris Whittaker, school Principal

Robert Hobbs as Gary Clayton, father and businessman

Jane De Wet as Lexi Summerveld, the murdered student

Paige Bonnin as Meghan Clayton, a student at St Agnes

Shamilla Miller as Jenna Galloway, a student at St. Agnes

Tristan de Beer as Jason Clayton, a stud
See more stories from thesouthafrican

Most recent headlines


What is holding back IP adoption?

By Kieran Kunhya, managing director, Open Broadcast Systems Jenny Priestley 1 hour ago By Kieran Kunhya, managing director, Open Broadcast Systems targ...


Sky adds Love Nature in UHD

Content will be available in the UK, Germany and Italy Jenny Priestley 4 hours ago Content will be available in the UK, Germany and Italy target=_blank...


Mediaset files complaint against Vivendi

Row over Mediasets plans to create new Amsterdam-based holding Jenny Priestley 3 hours ago Row over Mediaset's plans to create new Amsterdam-based ho...


Brexit taking its toll on TV advertising

Enders Analysis predicts 5 per cent drop Y-on-Y in TV advertising Jenny Priestley 3 hours ago Enders Analysis predicts 5 per cent drop Y-on-Y in TV adver...


BVE 2020 cancelled

Media Production and Technology Show has acquired assets Jenny Priestley 4 mins ago Media Production and Technology Show has acquired assets target=_bl...


Extron promotes Steve James to vice president of...

Extron has announced the promotion of Extron veteran Steve James as vice president of engineering. James formerly worked as senior director of engineering at ...


Lab Gruppen and Lake...

Tomas Lilja Lab Gruppen and Lake have appointed Tomas Lilja as brand leader, H kan Alfredsson as product category leader and Anders Jutebrant Ivarsson as R&D m...


Glass-free OLCD breakthrough announced for...

FlexEnable, a UK based developer of a organic transistor technology platform has unveiled its ultra-narrow' border organic LCD (OLCD) technology, using org...


NovaStar appoints PSCo as UK & Ireland distributor

UK LED display distributor PSCo has been appointed as NovaStar's UK & Ireland distribution partner, becoming NovaStar's first UK distributor. NovaSt...


VFX Legion Creates Effects For The Food That Built America on History Channel

22 August, 2019 - 08:02 FX Legion recently completed a complex mix of visual effects for History Channels new docudrama mini-series, The Food that Made Amer...


Elation's dynamic DARTZ for The Raconteurs Tour

Elation's dynamic DARTZ for The Raconteurs Tour posted: 22/08/2019 Matthieu Lariv e with L z Studio in Montr al serves as production and lighting des...


L-Acoustics K Series impresses Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala at Piazza Duomo open-air concert

L-Acoustics K Series impresses Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala at Piazza Duomo...


HSOT Jamboree Goes On Despite Heat-Induced Schedule Change

Wake Forest and Enloe High School go head to head in a scrimmage at the HighSchoolOT Jamboree at Wake Forest High School on Saturday, August 17, 2019. Despite ...


PMC Helps Tommy Vicari Showcase His Recording Skills

Internationally acclaimed producer Tommy Vicari will use a PMC monitoring system to highlight the importance of clarity and accuracy when recording and mixing l...


Front and Center Live Performance Delivered in Ultra HD and HDR with Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that critically acclaimed television concert s...


wTVision Relies on Ultimatte for Augmented Reality Work During Panama Elections

Blackmagic Design today announced that Ultimatte, its real time compositing processor, was used by wTVision for augmented reality (AR) production and complete g...


New Australian Sci Fi Film Quanta Shot on URSA Mini Pro and Graded with DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Design today announced the new sci fi film Quanta was shot entirely...


Summer 2019s Biggest Film Releases Used Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design announced today that a number of the 2019 summer season's worldwide film releases used numerous Blackmagic Design products during producti...


Love Is in the Air for Riedels Artist Intercom at the Electric Love Festival in Austria

Riedel Communications supplied an extensive Artist-based communications backbone...


SMPTEs Latest IMF Plugfest Makes Significant Progress Toward Interoperability

SMPTE , the organization that is defining the future of storytelling, today announced that the SMPTE Interoperable Master Format (IMF) plugfest, held May 14-15 ...


VuWall and LG Partner to Deliver the Most Advanced Integrated Video Wall Control and Display Technology for Control Room Environments

VuWall, leader of video wall and AV network management solutions, today announce...


PMC Heads North To Oldham Street With MB2SE Monitors

PMC's MB2SE speakers are taking centre stage at a stunningly designed multi-storey creative space in Manchester's thriving entertainment area, the North...


National TeleConsultants Peter Adamiak Honored as SMPTE Fellow

National TeleConsultants (NTC), one of the most respected media technology consulting, design, and systems integration companies in the world, is proud to annou...


Argosy Announces IP Networking and Fibre Infrastructure Wins

Argosy, a leading international supplier of broadcast cables and infrastructure products, recently provided a selection of IP and fibre-based cabling, networkin...


Nugen Halo Upmix Controls and Fine-Tunes Surround Mixes for Award-Winning Productions

For the past 30 years, award-winning Re-recording Mixer Joe Barnett has worked o...


Framestore Delivers High-Octane VFX for Hobbs & Shaw

Creative studio Framestore delivered 235 high-octane shots for Universal Pictures' Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, helping drive the film's thril...


Alienbrain 2019 Ships

LONDON - Alienbrain Ltd has released Alienbrain 2019, the latest iteration of its version control software for artists and designers. Alienbrain 2019 is a maj...


Primetime Ratings: NBC Wins With Massive AGT'

NBC won Tuesday prime ratings, America's Got Talent leading the net to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 7 share. In second was ABC ...


Lilly Singh Gets Primetime Special Sept. 18 on NBC

NBC is giving late-night debutante Lilly Singh a primetime special. A Little Late with Lilly Singh: The Primetime Special airs Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 10 p.m. I...


PESA Hybrid Media Distribution System DISA/JITC Certification Update

Huntsville, Alabama - August 19, 2019 - PESA, a leading U.S. designer and manufacturer of professional Video Distribution Systems (VDS) announced that they have...


Telenor completes DNA transaction, announces mandatory tender offer for remaining shares in DNA

Reading Time: 2 minutes We are pleased to have completed this transaction and...


The K12 leader's guide to success with WeVideo

alt=District Leadership width=1024 height=683 data-lazy-srcset= 1...


Two million radio listeners are listening to RT every week

Two million radio listeners are listening to RT every week The latest JNLR listenership survey has revealed that two million people, 52% of all Adults 15 , ar...


Greener Screens

It's over a year since RT announced its ban on single-use plastics in our canteen facilities, but the focus on sustainability continues. Earlier this mon...


Dith S introduces the 32 hopeful Roses

Host D ith S introduced all 32 hopeful Roses for the first time ahead of this year's 2019 Rose of Tralee television show. This is D ith 's tenth yea...


Tala Raises $110 Million Series D Led by RPS Ventures

Santa Monica, CA August 21, 2019 Tala, the leading financial technology company in emerging markets, announced today a $110M Series D investment led by RPS ...


Spotify Stages Overnight Concert for Fans at Japan's Summer Sonic Festival

This past weekend, thousands of music lovers flocked to the 20th annual Summer Sonic music festival, which spanned three days and multistage venues in Tokyo and...


Xilinx Announces the Worlds Largest FPGA Featuring 9 Million System Logic Cells

Xilinx Announces the Worlds Largest FPGA Featuring 9 Million System Logic Cells New Virtex UltraScale Device Enables the Creation of Tomorrows Most Complex Tec...






MARK WEINBERGER NAMED TO METLIFE'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS NEW YORK, August 21, 2019 MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced that Mark Weinberger has been e...


THE CHERNOBYL PODCAST Bonus Episode Available Today

THE CHERNOBYL PODCAST Bonus Episode Available Today CHERNOBYL Star Jared Harris Joins Co-Hosts Craig Mazin And Peter Sagal HBO PRFollow Aug 15 2 min re...


Limited Series MRS. FLETCHER Debuts October 27; Created by Executive Producer and Writer Tom Perrotta

Limited Series MRS. FLETCHER Debuts October 27; Created by Executive Producer an...


HBO and Survios Bring WESTWORLD to Life Through New VR Experience

HBO And Survios Bring WESTWORLD to Life Through New VR Experience Westworld Awakening Will Be In More Than 400 VR Arcades And Available To Download On Steam,...


HBO NOW Highlights - September 2019

HBO NOW Highlights - September 2019 HBO PRFollow Aug 20 4 min read Photo: Isn't It Romantic (Credit: Warner Bros. Inc). Please note this is a promo...


HBO Renews Drama Series SUCCESSION for a Third Season

HBO Renews Drama Series SUCCESSION for a Third Season HBO PRFollow Aug 20 2 min read HBO has renewed the drama series SUCCESSION for a third season, it...


Toshiba to Propose Solutions Supporting Africas Growth and Development at TICAD7

Toshiba Corporation Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation Yokohama, Japan Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Co...