Five Women, A 50-Year-Old Potato Race And One Huge Battle For Gender Equality In Small-Town Rural Australia

When Melanie Tait returned to her hometown, Robertson, she discovered the country town’s annual potato race had a massive inequity in prize money. Standing up for women’s rights, Melanie and her friends started to fundraise for the women’s prize.

“I couldn’t believe that in the 21st century the prize money would have such inequality for the men’s race and the women’s race so I started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the women’s prize and thought the whole town would support it. But they didn’t.”

“What happened was a huge division – those who supported my campaign and those who hated it. It gave me an idea of how incredible people are who forge through a fight in their own community – who keep campaigning when it feels like everyone is against them. This inequality had been going on for years and I wanted to change it”, said Melanie Tait.

Inspired by these events, playwright Melanie Tait decided to write a new comedy exploring the tensions between old and new, in country towns.

“While the idea [for The Appleton Ladies Potato Race] came from this incident, the play isn’t a direct retelling of that experience” Ms Tait said.

The Appleton Ladies Potato Race is lead by five female characters living in rural Australia. It’s a funny play with a huge heart that is not afraid to pack a punch. It is about rejection and acceptance; seeing the world as it really is and at the same time, daring to ask if it can be something more.

Mackay residents can enjoy this funny, honest, and heart-warming story about upsetting the potato cart, and standing up for your principles live at the MECC on Thursday 17 June at 7.30pm.

★★★★ “It’s near-impossible to resist being charmed.” Time Out

This is an Ensemble Theatre Production.
Appleton Ladies Potato Race
Thursday 17 June, 7.30pm
MECC Auditorium