Natalie Dormer joins cast: everything we know about the Picnic at Hanging Rock adaptation

Picnic at Hanging Rock

In September last year Foxtel announced that they were producing a Picnic at Hanging Rock adaptation. The highly anticipated drama is based on the novel by Author Joan Lindsay which tells the tale of three schoolgirls who mysteriously disappear on Valentine’s Day 1900 in Rural Victoria. The adaptation is the first on-screen retelling of the story since the release of the 1975 film by Peter Weir. Now, Foxtel has revealed a slew of new information about the series, including the show’s cast. 

Here is everything we know about the miniseries so far:

Natalie Dormer joins cast:

Foxtel has announced that Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games Mockingjay) has been cast as English headmistress Mrs. Hester Appleyard. In the 1975 film, Mrs. Hester Appleyard was played by Rachel Roberts

Here’s who else will be teaching at Appleyard College:

French Actress Lola Bessis (Cassandra, Swim Little Fish Swim) will be playing the mistress of French Conversation, Music and Dance, Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers. In the original 1975 film, Helen Morse played Dianne de Poitiers. 

Mistress of Deportment and Bible Studies, Miss Dora Lumley, will be played by Yael Stone (Orange Is The New Black, Deep Water).

Miss Greta McCraw, mistress of Geography and Mathematics will be played by Anna McGahan (The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Anzac Girls). The role of Miss Greta McCraw was originally played by Vivean Gray.

Sibylla Budd (Tomorrow When The War Began, Winners & Losers) will play Mrs. Valange, mistress of Art and Literature.

The students of Appleyard College:

Lily Sullivan (Camp, Jungle) will play Miranda Reid. The role of Miranda was originally played by Anne-Louise Lambert.

Madeleine Madden (Tomorrow When The War Began, High Life) will play Marion Quade. The role of Marion was originally played by Jane Vallis

Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter) will play Irma Leopold. The role was originally played by Karen Robson

Ruby Rees (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) will play Edith Horton. The original role was played by Christine Schuler.

Newcomer Inez Curro will play Sara Waybourne. The role was originally played by Margaret Nelson.


Larysa Kondracki (The Whistleblower), Michael Rymer (Battlestar Galactica) and Amanda Brotchie (Girlboss) will direct the series.


Picnic at Hanging Rock will be Produced by Ewan Burnett (Animalia, The Sleepover Club) and executive produced by Australian FremantleMedia TV Producer Jo Porter (Wentworth, Packed to the Rafters), alongside Anthony Ellis (Home and Away), and Foxtel’s Penny Win (Wentworth, Deadline Gallipoli).


Beatrix Christian (Jindabyne) and Alice Addison (The Hunter, Silence) will be penning the series.

Series length and setting 

The drama will be released in the form of a six-part miniseries. The show will be set in the 1900s.

“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,” said Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win.

“Though the story remains in 1900, Picnic at Hanging Rock will be 21st-century storytelling for the premium Foxtel drama audience.”


The series will be available on the paid subscription service Foxtel for Australian viewers and will be distributed to a worldwide audience through FremantleMedia International.

Release Date 

The release date has yet to be confirmed.

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Natalie Dormer joins cast: everything we know about the Picnic at Hanging Rock adaptation

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