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Sean Keenan, David Wenham & Alex Dimitriades join Wake In Fright on TEN

NewsKevin Perry

Sean Keenan
image - supplied/TEN

Network Ten has confirmed an impressive cast for its two-part television event Wake In Fright, which will commence filming tomorrow.

Filmed in Broken Hill and Sydney, the new adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s classic Australian novel, Wake In Fright will feature fast-rising local acting sensation Sean Keenan.

With recent roles in Hoges, Puberty Blues and supernatural drama Glitch, Sean will play John Grant, a young school teacher who descends into his own personal nightmare after being stranded in the small outback mining town of Bundanyabba.

Joining Sean is one of Australia’s most well-respected and critically-acclaimed television and film actors, David Wenham, who will play Jock Crawford.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, David has starred in television and films internationally and in Australia, including SeaChange, Top Of The Lake, 300, The Lord of the Rings and, most recently opposite Australia’s own Nicole Kidman in the six-time Academy Award nominated film Lion.

South African-born and New Zealand-raised actress Caren Pistorius, whose television credits include playing opposite Asher Keddie in Network Ten’s Offspring, will play Janette Hynes.

Other members of the ensemble cast include Gary Sweet (House Husbands, Police Rescue), Alex Dimitriades (The Slap, Underbelly), Robyn Malcolm (Upper Middle Bogan, Rake), Lee Jones (The Bastard Executioner), Anna Samson (Winners & Losers), Hannah Frederiksen (Hunters) and Jada Alberts (Wentworth).

It is directed by Kriv Stenders (The Principal, A Place To Call Home), whose feature film Red Dog is one of the highest grossing Australian films of all time. Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens and Endemol Shine Australia’s Mark Fennessy and Carl Fennessy will executive produce.

Network Ten Head of Drama, Rick Maier, said: “There are few Australian stories as original orcompelling as Wake In Fright. This contemporary, edge-of-your-seat mini-series will be one of the year’s most talked-about television events.

“Working with the team from Lingo Pictures and Endemol Shine Australia, writer Stephen Irwin and director Kriv Stenders has been an exercise in pure professionalism. We are incredibly excited to see what this all-star cast brings to this brilliant material.”

Lingo Pictures’ Producer, Helen Bowden, said: "Generations of Australians have had nightmares after reading Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel Wake In Fright. Set in one of the most inhospitable places on earth – the outback – this is a story filled with menace and mystery.

“Stephen Irwin’s vivid scripts have attracted the cream of our acting talent. And who better to direct this gripping psychological thriller than Kriv Stenders. Lingo Pictures is very proud to be making Wake In Fright for Network Ten with this team.”

Director Kriv Stenders said: “It’s such an honour and thrill to be a part of this incredible project. Being able to enter into the world of Kenneth Cook’s original novel of Wake In Fright and imagine a new story from a contemporary perspective has been one of the most creatively exciting experiences of my career so far.”

A Lingo Pictures production, produced in association with Endemol Shine Australia with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Wake In Fright is produced by Helen Bowden (The Slap, Devil’s Playground) and Kristian Moliere (The Babadook), it is written by Stephen M Irwin