Picnic At Hanging Rock

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Picnic at Hanging Rock is a trailblazing reimagining of Joan Lindsay’s timeless and iconic 1967 novel.

On Valentine’s Day, 1900, a group of schoolgirls from the local College take a day trip to dark and brooding Hanging Rock.  As the sun beats down and the picnic progresses, three girls and their governess go missing in the Australian bush.

A mysteriously vast narrative, as gripping as a true crime saga and as playful as the best contemporary fiction, the central narrative follows the impact of the disappearance on the students and staff of Appleyard College, their enigmatic and formidable headmistress and the township at large. All the elements are there. A compelling mystery, dangerous secrets, provocative scandals. Sex and murder. Love and death. Beauty and cruelty. An eccentric Gothic mansion, built with gold-rush winnings out in the Australian bush. A cast of relatable characters, twisting in a furnace of change and reinvention. A magnificent female antagonist, a handsome young hero, a rebellious young heroine. It explores the spreading stain of an unsolved mystery. Theories abound, secrets are exposed and hysteria sets in, until eventually, the lives of our characters unravel.

Each episode pieces together the events that led up to the disappearance. Pivotal moments are shown from conflicting view-points, creating fresh suspicions and unexpected suspects. Events at the picnic have a ripple effect. The stakes are high. The clock is ticking. Time plays tricks, as in the novel. Exposing glimpses of the characters’ pasts and futures.

Tapping into our fear of the unknown, the series explores issues of controlling sexuality more relevant than ever at this point in history, and speaks to modern notions of nationhood and identity.

Nature is the very heart of who we are. But can we control it?

The extensive cast includes Lola Bessis as Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, mistress of French Conversation, Music and Dance; Yael Stone as Miss Dora Lumley, mistress of Deportment and Bible Studies; Anna McGahan as Miss Greta McCraw, mistress of Geography and Mathematics, Sibylla Budd as Mrs Valange, mistress of Art and Literature, Ruby Rees as Edith Horton and introduces Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne. Other characters will be played by Don Hany, Harrison Gilbertson, James Hoare, Marcus Graham, Mark Coles Smith, Jonny Pasvolsky, Philip Quast, Emily Gruhl, Ros Gentle, Julie Nihill, Kaarin Fairfax, Huw Higginson, Ron Jacobson and Kim Gyngell.