Picnic at Bracknell's Hanging Rock
Picnic at Hanging Rock tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging Rock on St Valentine's day 1900. Set in an English girls' school in the Australian bush headed by Mrs. Appleyard.
Her staff: mathematics mistress Miss Greta McCraw, who vanishes on the Rock with three pupils; the beautiful French teacher Mille de Potiers [and] the jittery Miss Lumley.
Students:Miranda, Irma, Marion, Rosamund and the waifish Sara whose has a crush on Miranda. Edith hovers, desperate for acceptance. Sara, an orphan, is disliked by Mrs. Appleyard, and [is] not allowed to join the outing.
The Watchers "watch" throughout.
Mr. Whitehead drives the group to Hanging Rock. Everyones timepieces stop at noon. In mid-afternoon, Miranda, Irma, Marion and Edith decide to explore the rock. They are spotted, crossing a stream, by Michael, an Englishman and Albert his Australian valet. After a brief nap, the girls get up, and seemingly under a spell, three of them advance as one toward an inner recess, witnessed by Edith, who cries out to them not to go. One of the teachers, Miss McCraw, goes up to see what has happened. They arrive back at school to tell Mrs. Appleyard about the mysterious disappearance. Edith remains hysterical and unable to explain what has transpired. The search by local men and subsequent police investigation led by Sgt. Bumpher and Constable Jones offers no clues.
The townsfolk are angry, demanding answers. Michael, who becomes obsessed with finding Miranda, gets Albert to accompany him to the Rock for another search. The next morning, Albert travels up to the rock and finds a delirious Michael. Albert discovers Irma, unconscious but unharmed. At the home of Dr and Mrs McKenzie, where Irma is being treated, she tells the police that she has no memory. Irma loves Michael and waits for his visits but her love is not returned. Albert loves Irma but feels she will not consider him. Mass hysteria consumes the school. Parents withdraw their daughters. Irma visits class to tell the pupils that her parents are taking her to Europe. The girls at first greet her with silence, then begin screaming frantically that she must tell them what happened, and physically attack her. Mlle. de Poitiers has to pull them off, and Irma runs away. Miss Lumley ties Sara to a board "to correct her posture" and is restrained by Mille. De Poitiers. Miss Lumley gives notice and travels to the town taking a room in a small hotel. A fire breaks out and she is consumed by flames.
Mrs. Appleyard takes to drink and tells Sara that her guardian
has not paid her tuition and she must be sent to an institution, then
lying to the remaining staff says that Sara's guardians have taken her
away overnight. The next morning, Sara's body is found by Tom. She apparently
jumped or was pushed from her second floor bedroom window. Albert tells
Michael that he has had a dream that his orphan sister came to see him
in his dreams. Sara is revealed to be Albert's sister. Mrs Appleyard meets
her end confronting the Rock.
For a list of the cast and crew at the Bracknell shows click on the following link. See Cast and Crew.
Why not go to the official Picnic at Hanging Rock
website at www.picnicathangingrock.co.uk
Read the SpenceMusic review of the Bracknell show. Read
Page Last Updated: 4th March 2010
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