Picnic at Norfolk's Hanging Rock
The musical is based on the 1967 book by Joan Livesay about a picnic that takes place at a local beauty spot in Australia. Although the story is a work of fiction, many believe the story to be a true one.
The musical is told through the eyes of The Watchers, a group of youths native to the area who believe that the Rocks are sacred. As act one opens the Shaman, Watchers and Women of the Rock congregate at it's base to set the scene for the myth of the rocks.
On St. Valentine's Day 1900 by a group of students from the Appleyard College leave for a day trip to Hanging Rock. Having enjoyed a day of sunshine at the bas eof the Hanging Rock, four of the students decide to embark on a hike to the top of the rock formation, led by Miranda. After a lengthy climb the girls rest just minutes from the top.
One of the girls, Edith, wakes to see her three classmates venturing further up the rock without her, and although attempts to catch up with them, cannot. Edith returns to the base in a state of shock, unable to speak of what has happened other than her three classmates have disappeared. What she can recall however is passing Mis McCraw as she also made her way up the hill. Over the next few days, extensive searches produce nothing until an English teenager, Nicheal, finds one of the missing girls, Irma, and brings her home. However, Irma has lost her memory and is quite unable to offerany explanations.
Act two starts both both Michael and Irma are recovering and the search fo rthe missing girls and teacher continues. However, Irma still can not remember anything about the time she was missing. As time passes Irma starts to fall in love with Michael but his thoughts stay with the missing girls, especially Miranda.
Gradually, the remaining girls are removed by their parents from the school, fearing their offspring's safety. Mrs Appleyard turns to drink as her life and the school crumbles around her. As this happens Mille. Dianne, one of the teachers, leaves to get married. Mrs Appleyard takes it out on Sara, an orphan, who we learn is the sister of the gardener, Albert, although neither knows this as they were separated at a young age.
Later a body of a girl is found in the school grounds and Mrs Appleyard goes missing on the Hanging Rocks and all the while the Watchers watch.
For a list of the cast and crew at the Norwick 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 Norwich show. Read
Page Last Updated: 4th March 2010
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