Plays by Tom Wright

Picnic At Hanging Rock

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Tom Wright’s stage adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, was first co-produced by Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, and Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth, and first performed at Malthouse Theatre on 26 February 2016. The play received its European premiere at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh on 13 January 2017.

The play's action is narrated by five performers, 'Five Australian women', who are named in the published script after the actors who played them in the first production. They are struggling to solve the mystery at the heart of Joan Lindsay's original novel, which presents itself as the true story of the disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher one summer's day in 1900 while on a picnic expedition to Hanging Rock in Victoria. Euphoria and terror reverberate throughout the community, as the potential for history to repeat itself becomes nightmarishly real.

The premiere production was directed by Matthew Lutton with set and costume design by Zoë Atkinson. It was performed by Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Arielle Gray, Amber McMahon, Elizabeth Nabben and Nikki Shiels.

Tom Wright is an Australian theatre writer, mostly known for his adaptations and translations. He was born and educated in Melbourne. He was a member of Barrie Kosky's Gilgul Theatre in the 1990s, was Associate Director of Sydney Theatre Company 2004–2012, and is currently Associate Artist at Belvoir, Sydney.
His plays and adaptations include Picnic at Hanging Rock, A Journal of the Plague Year, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ubu, This Is a True Story, Lorilei, Babes in the Wood, Tense Dave, The Odyssey, The Lost Echo, Criminology (with Lally Katz), Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Women of Troy, The War of the Roses, The Duel, Baal, Optimism, Oresteia, On the Misconception of Oedipus, The Histrionic and Black Diggers.