PIC­NIC AT HANG­ING ROCK: rein­ter­pret­ing the iconic Aus­tralian story

Fifty years af­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock still in­trigues with its gothic hor­ror and re­pressed sex­u­al­ity. Now, in a six-part minis­eries, it’s had a 21st-cen­tury makeover. The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly takes an ex­clu­sive peek be­hind the scenes.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Asoggy, 17-de­gree Mel­bourne day on the set of Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock and the Ital­ianate façade of the Wer­ribee Man­sion ho­tel is the stand-in for Ap­p­le­yard Col­lege. English ac­tress Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games) is the im­pe­ri­ous Hester Ap­p­le­yard, dressed head-to-toe in aubergine vel­vet. A smoke ma­chine sim­u­lates early-morn­ing mist while the head­mistress is led across the lawn to a dead school­girl sprawled in a flower bed amidst the hy­drangeas.

Cast and crew are imbed­ded in novelist Joan Lind­say’s iconic tale of a group of school­girls who in­ex­pli­ca­bly van­ish on a Valen­tine’s Day pic­nic in 1900. How­ever, this six-part se­ries is no re­make of Peter Weir’s 1975

The four school­girls, Mar­ion, Mi­randa, Irma and Edith, from the new minis­eries, and their orig­i­nal film coun­ter­parts (be­low).

1975

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