Rain Shadow: articles

Rachel Ward and Victoria Thaine

Drought Drama: Actor Rachel Ward on the set of a new ABC TV series Rain Shadow being shot in South Australia.

Drought stars in Rachel's real-life drama

ACTOR Rachel Ward is bringing the real-life struggles of our parched pastoral land to the television screen in a new drama being shot on location in South Australia.

ABC-TV series Rain Shadow , which is being filmed around Mt Barker and Callington, east of Adelaide, aims to put a human face on the challenges to the nation's rural communities presented by the drought.

Ward, who first came to prominence more than 20 years ago in the mini-series The Thorn Birds and has a long list of theatre and movie credits, leads the cast.

As vet Kate McDonald, Ward's character has to deal with farmers unable to pay bills, families in crisis and a community struggling as it waits for rain.

Victoria Thaine, who starred alongside Susie Porter in Caterpillar Wish and Nathaniel Dean, who worked in 2006 movie Candy , are among the team of more than 65 cast and crew. Ward said she was "excited" to be filming the new production, worth more than $4 million.

"The biggest attraction was that I was shooting it in South Australia and in the country," Ward said, describing the state as "exotic".

"It's just great not to be doing it in the city. I'm over urban dramas. It's great to be doing something involving a section of the community that you don't very often get to hear about."

Filming on the series began last month, and will last for seven weeks at dozens of locations.

The production is financed by ABC-TV, the Film Finance Corporation, the SA Film Corporation and Southern Star Entertainment, and will comprise six one-hour episodes.

Producer Gus Howard, who worked on hit series Blue Heelers , said the series was very "real-life". "It's a perfect example of what is happening at the moment and how people are affected by the drought," he said.

By Sophie Elsworth
March 06, 2007
The Advertiser