High Rollers is a South African television drama series-turned-telenovela created by Joshua Rous and Luke Rous and produced by Rous House Productions which is an inter-generational family drama set against the backdrop of the glamorous and backstabbing world of gambling.
The series began life as a 26-episode, one-hour drama but was reinvented as a half-hour telenovela for Season 2.
High Rollers features a cast led by Brümilda van Rensburg, Justin Strydom, Antony Coleman, Rolanda Marais, Fezile Mpela, Xolile Tshabalala, Carmel Fisher, Carine Rous and Vilje Maritz.
The series is an inter-generational family drama centring round three "brothers": the Machiavellian casino kingpin David (Coleman), his flawed and volatile older brother Paul (Strydom) and David's trusted right-hand man Thato "TT" Mogale (Mpela).
The three are divided by their love for money, family and God. From the boardroom to the bedroom, each man plays the hand dealt to him as they navigate a precarious tightrope between loyalty and betrayal.
Each one-hour episode delves into the world anchored by King's casino and five-star hotel complex, an upmarket establishment in Johannesburg's north-eastern suburbs. It was built from scratch by David King, the youngest King brother, a slick and ruthless businessman who always gets what he wants.
His brother, Paul, is an ex-con who resolves to clean up his life, with the aid of his newfound religious faith. His release from prison on probation sends the King family into a tailspin, exposing raw nerves and unresolved questions around the fateful night when patriarch Charles King was mysteriously murdered.
TT is David's childhood friend and the public face of King's casino, with his charismatic, extroverted nature complementing David's single-minded business savvy.
As a farmworker's child taken into the King household and raised as one of their own - yet always kept at a distance - he sees it as his personal responsibility to pull the family back together.
TT's gorgeous wife, Gugu (Xolile Tshabalala), an ambitious player development executive, gives the casino's high rollers whatever they want, but is unable to give TT the one thing he wants - a child.
Her brother, the flamboyantly gay Kenny Ngubeni (Atandwa Kani), runs the local burlesque revue showbar at the casino.
Helena King (Van Rensburg) is the regal and dignified yet shrewd matriarch who manipulates her sons like an expert puppeteer, playing one against the other to suit her purposes. She owns the land on which the casino is located, and is not afraid to play this important chip when the circumstances merit it.
We'll also meet Analine King (Rolanda Marais), David's estranged wife and mother of his three children, teenagers Ben (Vilje Maritz) and Linkie (Danielle Retief) and the bright but sickly Marcus (Kiran Prigge).
Analine, a "functioning alcoholic", was once deeply in love with Paul but wed David in a shotgun marriage after Paul's imprisonment. However, the flame between her and her former lover threatens to reignite when he is released from jail.
The ties that bind are often the ties that blind... especially when the unwritten code of brotherhood starts to fall apart.
High Rollers was created by the Rous House Productions team of producing and directing brothers, Luke and Josh Rous. The series head writer was Henriëtta Gryffenberg.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for actor bios)
Antony Coleman ... David King
Carmel Fisher ... Michelle Jephta
Rolanda Marais ... Analine King
Vilje Maritz ... Ben King
Fezile Mpela ... TT Mogale
Justin Strydom ... Paul King
Carine Rous ... Esme Cilliers
Xolile Tshabalala ... Gugu Mogale
Brümilda van Rensburg ... Helena King
Recurring / Guests
Atandwa Kani ... Kenny Ngubeni
Louis Minnaar ... Pieter Terre'Blanche
Dorette Nel ... Guest Star
Russel Savadier ... Guest Star
Kevin Smith ... Guest Star
Angelique Pretorius ... Young Helena
Austin Shandu ... Guest Star
Anriëtte van Rooyen ... Guest Star
Zakeeya Patel ... Dhananjay Patel
Luke Rous ... Guest Star
Danielle Retief ... Linkie King
Malizo Mdekazi ... Guest Star
Hayley Owen ... Tallulah
Pulane Palmer ... Nurse
Jai Prakash ... Ravi Chetty
Kiran Prigge ... Marcus King
Naledi Molai ... On Set Dealer
Jerry Thulo ... On Set Dealer
Charles Bohlmann ... Guest Star
Mike Ford ... Guest Star
Murray Louw ... Guest Star
Sibusiso Nzima ... Guest Star
Ernst Neuhoff ... Guest Star
Philip Palmer ... Guest Star
Thabiso Rammala ... Guest Star
Ompile Rapoo ... Guest Star
Mark Liprini ... Guest Star
Ephraim Madiga ... Guest Star
Nompumelelo Mayiyane ... Guest Star
Naledi Moloi ... Guest Star
Emanuel Pietersen ... Guest Star
Morne du Toit ... Guest Star
Abdullah Bayet ... Guest Star
Gerhard Coetzer ... Guest Star
Reynette Kruger ... Guest Star
Jaco du Toit ... Guest Star
Fred Ras ... Guest Star
Dexter Skhosana ... Guest Star
Phumi Buthelezi ... Guest Star
Lelanie Dekker ... Guest Star
Brandon Smith ... Guest Star
Bob Sutherland ... Guest Star
Sihle Mbele ... Guest Star
Janus Prinsloo ... Guest Star
Nokulunga Zondo ... Guest Star (as Nokulunga Zonda)
Buford Erasmus ... Guest Star
Selai Ralarala ... Nelly
Edmund Ralombe ... Guest Star
Atti Fourie ... Guest Star