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Picnic at Hanging Rock

Malthouse Theatre/Black Swan State Theatre Company


Retelling this classic tale, which has haunted the Australian psyche for years, fires the darkest reaches of the imagination.

On a summer’s day in 1900, during a trip to a volcanic beauty spot in rural Victoria, three schoolgirls and their teacher inexplicably vanish, never to be seen again. Giving a contemporary spin to Joan Lindsay’s cult 1967 book, this production features five female narrators whose efforts at reconstructing the mystery are overtaken by primal forces. Amid looming hysteria, their story twists and distorts, guiding us from civilisation and order to somewhere hostile, vast and unknown.

Offering a vision of psychological breakdown as the illusion of genteel society is torn apart in an ancient land, Picnic at Hanging Rock is a sublimely unsettling theatrical experience that sends shivers down the spine. Gripping performances rip through time and are matched by an eerie soundscape and lighting design that summon the mysteries of the outback.

Tagged with: Theatre & dance

1 hour 25 mins/no interval

Age guidance 14+


Thu 14 Dec 2017, 6.30pm, Cinema 3
Picnic at Hanging Rock screening

Fri 23 Feb 2018
Post-show talk with Director Matthew Lutton

Free to same-day ticket holders

Sat 24 Feb, 2.30pm
Audio Described Performance. The touch tour will take place at 1pm


Presented by the Barbican

With the support of the Australian High Commission in London


‘So original that no-one who sees it is likely to forget it‘
‘A production that is as devastating as it is delicate‘
‘A show with volcanic power‘
‘A surreal and subversive take on an Australian classic‘
‘A pressure-cooker evening in the theatre which challenges, unsettles and disturbs‘
‘An absolutely beautiful and what now seems an oddly prescient production‘
‘Spellbinding adaptation ‘
‘The stage adaptation by Tom Wright has adroitly captured the complex nature of this story‘


Malthouse Theatre: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Meet the Cast

Malthouse Theatre introduce the cast of Picnic at Hanging Rock including Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Arielle Gray, Nikki Shiels and Elizabeth Nabben, to find out more about their experience working on the play. 

photo of Matthew Lutton

Watch: interview with director Matthew Lutton

Watch this interview with Matthew Lutton, the Director from Malthouse Theatre's production of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

photo of three women being interviewed

Watch: Picnic at Hanging Rock cast interview

Take a look at this interview with Arielle Gray, Nikki Shiels and Elizabeth Nabben from Malthouse Theatre's production of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

three actors on stage

Watch: Picnic at Hanging Rock trailer

Joan Linsay’s 1967 book is given a contemporary spin - take a look.

With thanks

Australian High Commision logo

Barbican Theatre