Get ready South Africa, Showmax has just released the first trailer for its latest show, Skemerdans, a Showmax Original that will be available to binge from 28 April 2021.

Skemerdans is a Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery set at the Oasis jazz club and focuses on the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate.

The series was shot largely at the iconic Club Galaxy during the October 2020 lockdown and features a 13-part half-hour series that revolves around the Fortune family, played by SAFTA winners Kevin Smith, Ilse Klink, and Brendon Daniels, the star from Four CornersSara se Geheim and Arendsvlei, just to name a few.

Take a look at the trailer below:

In the buildup to the series, Showmax caught up with Skemerdans co-directors Amy Jephta and Ephraim Gordon to find out more about their upcoming Showmax Original. Here is what they had to say about their latest project:

Where did the idea for Skemerdans come from? 
Amy: We love the noir genre, so we had an aesthetic in mind. We wanted to create something that felt different to any South African show we had seen. A lot of the shows here are so bright, whereas we found there was something so beautiful about playing with darkness and shadows.

Ephraim: We also wanted to show a side of Cape Town we don’t normally see, to share our vision of what Cape Town is. When people think of Cape Town, they think of it as a compartmentalised world: certain people living here, certain people there. But Voortrekker Road is a place where different people are constantly moving through.

Club Galaxy has arguably been Cape Town’s most famous club ever since it opened in 1978. Did you write Skemerdans with Galaxy in mind? 

EphraimYes, but without knowing if it would be possible to shoot there. When Covid hit, the club obviously had to close, which made it the perfect space for the world of Skemerdans to exist.

Amy: I grew up in Mitchell’s Plain. I wasn’t allowed to go clubbing in high school but Galaxy and Dockside are the two venues I know from my childhood as part of the lexicon of Cape Town. Galaxy is an iconic part of Cape Town nightlife – everyone I know has either spent their youth at Galaxy, or their parents did. My grandmother partied there. It’s an institution.

This was originally going to be a show for TV. How did it change in moving to Showmax?

Amy: When the opportunity to do it for Showmax came along, it was like, ‘Thank God: now we can do anything we want.’ We’ve been given the creative freedom to make the story what it needs to be, without worrying about things like language, sex, violence or pushing the envelope too far. You can just tell the story, without worrying about there’s not enough English, there’s not enough Afrikaans, there’s too many swear words, there’s too much sex. We could just let the world grow, without being censored.

Ephraim: Once there are language quotas put on something, you limit your casting. So you find yourself in a space where people come from the same place and sound the same way and act in the same way. But that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world where people constantly move through spaces. So with that restriction taken off, it allowed us to cast wider, and to reflect what this world is.

How did the two of you meet? 

Ephraim: First day of varsity. First day of first year at UCT.

Amy: Since then, we became friends and then collaborators on the theatre side. And then, after we made a theatre show, we decided to form a company because we wanted to make a film of the play we made. Soldaat was our first film together.

Picture: Screenshot from trailer

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