4 July 2019
Die Spreeus Ep 12: Antjie Somers is coming to get you!
NB! This episode isn’t for sensitive viewers
Back in the day, children used to run to the street corner when that all-too-familiar ice-cream truck song came into earshot. Nothing beats a soft serve cone on a hot summer’s day, right? But in supernatural series Die Spreeus (stream it here on Showmax), the icy treats are the devil’s tools – one lick and you’re enchanted, thrown in a bag and kidnapped by the cackling witch of a woman driving the ice-cream kombi.
Treats of terror
Spreeus creator and writer Tertius Kapp reveals just how he came up with this storyline: just about everyone in Cape Town has heard the legend of Antjie Somers or Andries Somers, an executioner who ran out of work in the 1800s. Distraught, he moved to the mountains and became a hermit. Eventually having driven himself mad, Andries dressed up as a woman (his alter ego Antjie) and started kidnapping kids in the city.
In episode 12 of Die Spreeus, the woman driving the ice-cream van is actually a man. He uses his frozen treats to lure the kids close enough to grab, but only once they’ve tasted his ice-creams and have fallen victim to the spell that he cast on the lollies. How does he know the kids are his? Their eyes turn a glowing blue colour.
Back at his lair, this Andries/Antjie criminal prepares his victims as a live sacrifice to be broadcast on the dark web
(What’s the dark web? Find out here.)
Monique Rockman, who plays Spreeus detective Beatrice Mack, reveals that she knew nothing of the actual Antjie Somers story before filming the episode. “But I can remember as a child we were scared of the rhyme that ‘Antjie Somers is going to catch you’ – we were told that she was a kind of bogeyman who would take you away if you got up to mischief.”
Tertius’s reimagining of Antjie both impressed and scared Monique, who adds, “Tertius is one of those creative geniuses who surprises you constantly. The way that he combined the centuries-old story of Antjie Somers with the serious present-day crimes of the dark web was exceptional.”
Beaten down by guilty feelings
Beatrice’s storyline takes over in this episode from her partner Bas (Chris Vorster), who has been more at the fore in the last couple of episodes. And it’s her relationship with her mother Erica (Theresa Sedras) that is highlighted in this penultimate episode of season 1.
Erica is still in the psychiatric facility years after she first claimed to have seen ghosts and spirits, but her condition has worsened. “She has been on stronger and stronger medication to keep her in check and she is now suffering from Alzheimer’s,” explains Monique.
In episode 9, Erica didn’t recognise Beatrice and handed her a letter that Beatrice saw was meant for her. It’s still at her home unopened. “Feelings of guilt gnaw at Beatrice and that’s why she hasn’t been able to bring herself to open the letter,” says Monique. “Beatrice blames herself for not believing her mother when Erica told her about seeing the supernatural world. She is afraid that Erica’s letter will contain the pain that Erica has held onto for many years, having been taken away from Beatrice.”
The season finale (episode 13) will see some form of closure to Beatrice and her mother’s troubled relationship, although it won’t be easy. And don’t think that Beatrice, Bas and their boss Brigadier Rosa (Sandi Schultz) are going to just fizzle out either – “We are going out with a bang!” hints Monique. “Be afraid!”
BONUS: Castle Capers
In episode 12, most of the scenes were filmed at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. “I remember how we filmed there at night and one of the stylists told me there are real ghosts there that come out between 2am and 5am. As if we weren’t already chasing enough ghosts in the series!” says Monique with a laugh.
Even the cave scenes in episode 12, where Antjie keeps her victims shackled up, were filmed at the castle. “In reality, we filmed in the lower chambers of the castle and while I was there, I experienced a depressing feeling, as if there was something unnatural there,” adds Monique.