The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race

The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race is a 2023 Australian feature film based on the stage play of the same name by Australian playwright and journalist Melanie Tait. The film premiered in Australia on Network Ten and was released on streaming on Paramount+ Australia.[1]

The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race
Directed byLynn Hegarty
Screenplay byMelanie Tait
Based onThe Appleton Ladies' Potato Race
by Melanie Tait
Produced byAndrea Keir
Lisa Duff
CinematographyHenry Pierce
Edited byKatie Flaxman
Music by
  • Cornel Wilczek
  • Thomas Rouch
  • Congaline Productions
  • EQ Media
  • Appleton Productions
Distributed by
Release date
  • 26 July 2023 (2023-07-26) (Australia)
Running time
108 minutes



Doctor Penny Anderson moves from Sydney to her childhood home of Appleton. While visiting the hair salon of her sister Nikki, Penny sees a flyer advertising The Appleton Show and its famous potato race. She discovers the men's first prize pays out $2,000 and the winning woman's prize is only $200.[1] Penny leads a protest which causes turmoil in Appleton, particularly with Nikki, who is the current champion.

Nikki's brother-in-law Gavin vigorously opposes any increase in the prize money for the women's race, and when Penny succeeds in raising enough money to offer a bigger prize, he attempts to sabotage the ladies' race.





The film is based on a play by Melanie Tait, originally developed and performed with the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney. This was inspired by a real event in Tait's hometown of Robertson, New South Wales.[2][3]

The film was shot in Sydney and the Southern Highlands with finance from Screen Australia, Screen NSW, and the NSW Regional Film Fund.[4][5]



Andrew Mercardo of Mediaweek called it "charming… whilst it doesn’t play like a pilot, it would make for a great ongoing series."[6] Lenny Ann Low of The Sydney Morning Herald described the film as "sparky, funny, compassionate and honest."[7]


  1. ^ a b Low, Lenny Ann (21 July 2023). "A funny, compassionate, honest tale about feminism, culture clashes and potatoes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  2. ^ Demertzis, Vera (25 July 2023). "Former Robertson playwright Melanie Tait's 'The Appleton Ladies' Potato' comes to life on Channel 10". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  3. ^ McLaren, Nick (9 December 2022). "Extras sought for The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race now filming in Robertson, Bundanoon". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  4. ^ "'The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race' (Trailer)". If magazine. 18 July 2023. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  5. ^ "PARAMOUNT+ ANNOUNCES CAST OF THE APPLETON LADIES' POTATO RACE". Screen Australia. 29 July 2023. 5 December 2022.
  6. ^ Mercado, Andrew (21 July 2023). "Mercado on TV: Charming new Aussie telemovie The Appleton Ladies' Potato Race". Mediaweek. Retrieved 29 July 2023.
  7. ^ Low, Lenny Ann (15 July 2023). "A funny, compassionate, honest tale about feminism, culture clashes and potatoes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co. Retrieved 5 September 2023.