Cloudstreet (miniseries)

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Created by Tim Winton, adapted with Ellen Fontana
Written by Tim Winton
Ellen Fontana
Directed by Matthew Saville
Starring Essie Davis
Stephen Curry
Todd Lasance
Emma Booth
Shannon Lively
Kerry Fox
Geoff Morrell
Callan McAuliffe
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3
Producer(s) Greg Haddrick
Brenda Pam
Della Churchill (Assoc)
Running time 120 minutes
Original network Showcase
Original release 22 May – 5 June 2011
External links

Cloudstreet is an Australian television drama miniseries for the Showcase subscription television channel, which first screened from 22 May 2011, in three parts.[1] It is an adaptation of Cloudstreet, an award-winning novel by Australian author Tim Winton. It was filmed in 2010 in Perth with Matthew Saville as the director, and script written by Tim Winton and Ellen Fontana.


Precipitated by separate personal tragedies, two families flee their rural livings to share a "great continent of a house", Cloudstreet, in the Perth suburb of West Leederville. The two families are contrasts to each other; the Lambs find meaning in industry and in God's grace; the Pickles, in luck. The Lambs' God is a maker of miracles; the Pickles' God is the ‘Shifty Shadow’ of fate. Though initially resistant to each other, their search and journey for meaning in life concludes with the uniting of the two families with many characters citing this as the most important aspect of their lives. As a novel, Cloudstreet is tightly structured, opening and ending with a shared celebratory family picnic - a joyous occasion which, ironically, is also the scene of Fish’s long sought-after death or return to the water. The novel is narrated effectively by flashback "in the seconds it takes to die" by Fish Lamb, or the 'spiritual' omniscient Fish Lamb, free of his restricting retarded state. As such the novel gives a voice to social minorities, the Australian working class and the disabled.

Historical context[edit]

Cloudstreet is set firmly in a particular period of Australian history, from the mid-1940s to late '50s. Although world events influence the Lambs and Pickles, the novel focuses on the domestic and personal lives of the protagonists. The period is carefully recreated, and never deviates from the lives of the families. A motif that recurs throughout the series involves the stolen generations of Aboriginal children, some of whom were long before harshly treated in the house.


The Pickles[edit]

The Lambs[edit]

Additional cast[edit]

  • Narration by Ron Haddrick
  • Greg McNeill as Trainer
  • Milly Haddrick as Trainer's Daughter
  • Ben Mortley as Gerry Clay
  • Bruce Spence as Pig
  • Kelton Pell as Bob Crab
  • Shaquita Nannup as Florrie
  • Billie-Jean Hamlet as Ruby
  • Michelle Stanley as Mrs Johnson
  • Julia Moody as Mrs Tisborn
  • Anna Bauert as Alma
  • Sarah Louella as Darlene
  • Natalie Holmwood as Merle
  • Melanie Munt as Mrs Clay
  • Oliver Ackland as Toby Raven
  • Ethan Thomas as Geoffrey Birch
  • Laura Fairclough as Lucy Wentworth
  • David Bowers as Earl Blunt
  • Helen Doig as May Blunt
  • Richard Adams as Spinner
  • Jodie Mead as Aboriginal Woman
  • Sean Walsh as Bloke
  • Matthew Elverd as Bloke
  • Angelique Malcolm as Housewife
  • John McKenzie as Sam's Hand Double

Haddrick family[edit]

Three generations of the Sydney-based Haddrick family were involved in the production of Cloudstreet: Ron Haddrick as the narrator; Greg Haddrick as producer; and Milly Haddrick as an actress.


David Knox from stated: "There are visuals, concepts and performances that surpass the usual small screen dramas which stick to pedestrian storytelling and talking heads. Cloudstreet is bursting with character, imagination and offers a cornucopia for the eye."[2]

The Sydney Morning Herald's Brad Newsome wrote: "The production and costume designs are wonderful, as is the original music by Bryony Marks (who also provided the haunting score for Tangle). Director Matthew Saville (Noise, The King) and cinematographer Mark Wareham (Clubland, Answered by Fire) bring it all to vivid, entrancing life. Outstanding."[3]

International distribution[edit]

Country Channel Premiere date
United Kingdom Sky Atlantic January 2012


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]