Living a wife of crime
ISUPPOSE it was a matter of time before Bedfordview became a muse for some screenwriter. In recent years, the Johannesburg east suburb gained notoriety as a lavish but seedy stomping ground for criminal underworld shenanigans that involved wellpublicised murders of prominent businessmen.
The storyline is based on award winning author Mandy Wiener’s Killing Kebble: An Underworld
Exposed (2011), about mafia activities that involves slain strip club owner Lolly Jackson and convicted drug kingpin and Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.
Bedford Wives is a comedy drama series with the texture of Desperate Housewives and the local flavour that includes a Greek family and black law-enforcement characters. The storyline unravels against the background of the mysterious murder of Marco Giannopoulos (Jonathan Taylor), a wealthy restaurateur.
His wife and Mrs SA contestant, Despina Giannopoulos (Sharon Wagner) vows to continue with the business but, as her late husband’s associates reveal themselves, she realises that he had actually bequeathed her a criminal enterprise.
Despina’s reputation as the perfect suburban mother, wife, head of the parent teachers’ association at her children’s school and envy of the wives of Bedfordview is about to take a serious knock. Behind the façade of pristine lives are dark secrets that threaten to become public knowledge. Worse, the former Miss SA’s dream of wearing a Mrs SA crown was shattered by her widowhood. The series introduces viewers to other women in Despina’s life – Gigi Giannopoulos, her late husband’s vixenish ex-wife and a scheming rival who is likely to be one of Marco’s killers.
There’s also Yvette de Villiers (Shaeleen Tobin), a bossy friend whose lavish lifestyle is virtually sponsored by the beleaguered widow. Paulina Salemane (Sibulele Gcilitshana) completes the quartet of the wives of Bedfordview.
Male characters such as The Commander (Sechaba Morojele) and Detective Dlamini (Katleho Ramaphakela) also feature prominently as those who are interested in investigating the “falafel” business between Despina and kingpin Costa De Maia (Russel Savadier) – “falafel” in this case meaning contraband.
Bedford Wives is a creation of Burnt Onion Productions, a film company owned by young creators and siblings, Katleho, Rethabile and Tshepo Ramaphakela.
Katleho is the managing director of the company. An awardwinning actor in the popular TV series, including Isidingo and
Scandal!, he has also distinguished himself as executive producer and screenwriter of several local sitcoms and movies. This quality show reflects this young thespian’s remarkable abilities.
Bedford Wives airs on Thursdays on SABC3 at 7.30pm.
Sibulele Gcilitshana, Gabriella Cirillo, Sharon Wagner and Shaeleen Tobin co-star in SABC3’s new home-grown drama, Bedford Wives.