Foxtel has announced the principal cast for the upcoming TV event, Picnic at Hanging Rock, with Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer taking the role of English headmistress Hester Appleyard.
She’ll be joined by French actress Lola Bessis (Cassandra, Swim Little Fish Swim) as Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, mistress of French Conversation, Music and Dance; Yael Stone (Orange Is The New Black, Deep Water) as Miss Dora Lumley, mistress of Deportment and Bible Studies; Anna McGahan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Anzac Girls) as Miss Greta McCraw, mistress of Geography and Mathematics and Sibylla Budd (Tomorrow When The War Began, Winners & Losers) as Mrs Valange, mistress of Art and Literature.
The students of Appleyard college will include Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) as Miranda Reid, Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) as Marion Quade, Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) as Irma Leopold, Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) as Edith Horton and introducing Inez Curro as Sara Waybourne.
Other cast members include Don Hany, Harrison Gilbertson, James Hoare, Marcus Graham, Mark Coles Smith, Jonny Pasvolsky, Philip Quast, Emily Gruhl, John Flaus, Ros Gentle, Julie Nihill, Kaarin Fairfax, Randall Berger, Mayah Fredes, Alyssa Tuddenham, Kate Bradford, Bethany Whitmore, Markella Kavenagh, Felix Johnson, Ines English, Huw Higginson, Rob Jacobson and Kim Gyngell.
Based on Joan Lindsay’s classic novel, which in turn inspired the 1975 peter Weir film, Picnic at Hanging Rock centres on the turn of the century disappearance of three schoolgirls and one teacher at the titular monolith.
Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said, “The accomplished cast who have been secured for Picnic at Hanging Rock will give new forms to Joan Lindsay’s iconic characters as the actors take up the scripts our writers, Bea Christian and Alice Addison, have drawn from the provocative spirit of the original mystery.
“Though the story remains in 1900, Picnic at Hanging Rock will be 21st-century storytelling for the premium Foxtel drama audience.”
The six-part drama series will begin filming in Victoria this month.