Picnic at Hanging Rock, Via The Wharf Theatre

Opening on Halloween and ending on Guy Fawkes Night, the next production at Devizes Wharf Theatre promises to be a mysteriously eerie….

Written by Joan Lindsay adapted by Tom Wright and directed by Debby Wilkinson, Picnic at Hanging Rock takes place on St Valentine’s Day in 1900, when a group of schoolgirls from Appleyard College set out for a picnic at Hanging Rock, a volcanic beauty spot in rural Victoria, Australia.

After lunch some of them climb into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the rock.  However, their idyllic day turns into a nightmare when three of their number inexplicably vanish, never to be seen again.

The question remains and intrigues audiences to this day – is the plot an eerie re-telling of a real event?  ‘Hanging Rock’ exists, as do the surrounding towns mentioned; the boarding school is loosely based on Clyde Girls’ Grammar School in Melbourne, which the author attended and there was reportedly a case of two girls who went missing in the 1800’s.  Or could it be that the author simply dreamt the plot, as she once said? Shrouded in mystery Picnic at Hanging Rock remains a firm favourite with film and theatre audiences alike.

In this Wharf production five female narrators perform all parts and recount the mystery of the disappearance and looming hysteria as the illusion of genteel society is torn apart. Tom Wright’s adaptation pares down the events and uses evocative and poetic language to create an edgy and mysterious play and Debby Wilkinson’s incredibly strong cast bring a wealth of experience and talent.

Get your tickets here, before they mysterious disappear!


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