7de Laan goes to prison: Dramatic new storyline causes a stir


Cape Town – Viewers are enthralled with the female jail drama that 7de Laan has turned into with several more shocks and surprises in store before the story concludes.

The Afrikaans SABC2 weekday soap has taken a page from the Netflix series Orange is the new Black seen on M-Net (DStv 101) and placed several of the female characters together behind bars for a very entertaining story.

7de Laan's riveting story that will continue into next week, is similar to the "in jail" story arcs viewers have seen happen before in e.tv's Scandal! that the production did with first the female, and later the male characters. 

Part of viewers' fun is the on-screen return of the formerly soft and girlie Emma (Bertha le Roux) – jailed a few years back in 2014 and who has now turned into the vicious "Miems"- the harsh jail queen ruling her fiefdom behind bars.

Meanwhile Mariaan's (Deirdre Wolhuter) husband is concocting a possible escape plan, the evil and pregnant Amanda (Carina Nel) gave birth in jail last week and pretended to be Bonita's (Hildegardt Whites) friend. Liefie (Martelize Kolver) is the good/bad jail warden who becomes the victim of the inmates' plans and revenge, and who knows what Natalie (Daniella Deysel) is planning?

Of course Vivian is Charmaine's evil twin and a delicious departure for actress Vinette Ebrahim doing something else than running a coffee shop as the unhinged character plots to make Bonita completely crazy.

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Mix in physical fighting between the inmates, psychosocial drama and whispered threats and viewers have been lapping up the soapy jail storylines.

The producers tell Channel24 that the idea to put all of the women in jail together originated from wanting to show how in a forced situation, the real character of people are revealed. "Stripped from what protects you, primitive nature emerges. This creates the ideal circumstances for lovely drama, interpersonal dynamics and character development". 

According to the soap, Danie Odendaal Productions built special sets inside the studio to film all of the jail scenes. "Our set designer Bennie Marais created and built the jail cells to look as realistic as possible," says the show.

Asked where the exterior establishing shots were filmed, the show says the art director shot those in and around Johannesburg. "Naturally we were not allowed to film a real prison, so we filmed exterior shots of buildings that looked like a jail from the outside".