Paramount + announces The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race cast

Paramount + announces The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race cast

Claire van der Boom (Blacklight, Palm Beach) leads the cast of the Paramount+ Original The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race 

Katie Wall (Winter, Puberty Blues), Genevieve Lemon (Ticket to Paradise, The Power of The Dog), Tiriel Mora (The Castle, Smoke Between Trees) and Robyn Nevin (Relic, The Eye of the Storm), also starring.

With the screenplay written by playwright Melanie Tait (The Vegemite Tales, A Broadcast Coup) based on her play of the same name, the cast also includes Andy Ryan (Tomorrow When the War Began, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart), Rohan Nichol (Red Dog, MaveriX), Cecelia Peters (Playing For Keeps, The Wrong Girl), Darren Gilshenan (The Moodys, Harrow), John Batchelor (Peter Rabbit 2, Barons) and John Gaden (The Eye of the Storm, Fisk).  

When Penny Anderson (Claire van der Boom) returns to her childhood home just in time for the Appleton Show and its ‘world famous’ potato race, she is outraged that the men’s first prize pays out $2,000 and the winning woman’s prize is only $200!  Determined to right this wrong, she unleashes a cultural war the likes never seen in sleepy Appleton – pitting family against family, sister against sister and potato racer against potato racer.

Currently filming in Sydney and the picturesque villages of the Southern Highlands of NSW, The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race is being directed by Lynn Hegarty (Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, A Place to Call Home), produced by Andrea Keir and Lisa Duff who are also executive producing with EQ Media’s Greg Quail, Paramount+ Australia’s Sophia Mogford, and Cecilia Ritchie.

The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race is produced by Congaline Productions and EQ Media for Paramount+. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW and the NSW Regional Film Fund. Paramount+, which launched in August 2021, is Australia’s fastest growing streaming service and has already commissioned 16 local productions spanning drama, reality, comedy and documentary.

Paramount ANZ Network Executive of Drama And Comedy, Sophia Mogford, said: “We are very proud to invest in this fabulous Australian production that we know will have huge global appeal. It is such a charming, engaging story full of Aussie quirks, humour and characters and the cast draws on some wonderfully familiar faces, as well as contemporary stars, with a story theme that will resonate with audiences everywhere. This production is certainly in safe hands with the talented, world-class cast and crew creating this very special film.”

Producer Andrea Keir said: “The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race what a title! Melanie has written a joyful and charming script set in a luscious country village nestled in rolling green hills. It will be impossible for viewers to resist when it lands on Paramount+.”

EQ Media’s Lisa Duff and Greg Quail said: “EQ Media is thrilled to be working alongside Andrea Keir on the feature film adaptation of Melanie Tait’s much-loved play. We have assembled an incredible cast and crew and look forward to bringing the story of Appleton and its famous potato race to audiences both locally and internationally. With contemporary themes of home, family and the gender pay gap, this heartfelt drama is bound to become an Australian classic.”


Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon said, “Writer Melanie Tait has proven her ability to connect with audiences with this heart-warming story on stage, and we are delighted to support her together with an experienced producing team to bring it to the screen. With quirky and charming characters, and set against the backdrop of quintessential regional Australia, this is set to be a joy to watch.”

Head of Screen NSW, Kyas Hepworth said “Screen NSW is thrilled to support The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race and the incredible cast and crew as it films in Sydney and the picturesque Southern Highlands of NSW. Based on a successful play of the same name by Melanie Tait, this uniquely Australian story is set to explore the financial divide between genders and present a quintessential Australian tale to audiences at home and abroad. I wish the cast and crew all the best for filming.”