Pamela Rabe joins the cast of Wentworth

23 September, 2013 by Press Release

Foxtel has announced AFI winner Pamela Rabe is joining the cast of Wentworth to play Joan “The Freak” Ferguson in the second season of the hit FremantleMedia Australia drama.

The shoot begins in Melbourne today and will continue through to early next year, with Foxtel’s SoHo channel increasing the season two order from 10 episodes to 12.


The story picks up three months after Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) killed Jacs Holt. While Bea has been languishing in the slot, Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) has risen to the position of top dog unopposed. But the sudden arrival of new governor Joan Ferguson is about to change all that.

Rabe is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and awarded actors and as she starts her first week shooting Wentworth she will still be appearing on stage for the final nights of a season of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard for the Melbourne Theatre Company.

She won the 1997 AFI Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for the film The Well and also appeared in the films Cosi, Sirens and Paradise Road. Her work in television includes The Secret Life of Us and Stingers, and for the past decade she has worked constantly in theatre across the country. For her role in Grey Gardens she won a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Musical and other notable credits include The Wizard of Oz, The War of the Roses, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Hamlet, The Season at Sarsaparilla, Mother Courage and Her Children and Dinner.

“I am honoured and excited to join the Wentworth team,” she said. “I have great memories of the original Prisoner series and Maggie Kirkpatrick is a dear friend so it is an absolute thrill to fill her formidable shoes and gloves in this reincarnation of the role of Joan Ferguson."

Foxtel Commissioning Editor of Drama Penny Win said, “When we decided the time was right to bring the new Joan Ferguson to Wentworth, Pamela was at the top of our casting wish list and everything aligned for her to be available at the right time and ready to sign on for season two.”

FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter said, “Wentworth season two will continue to take no prisoners when it comes to shocking storylines and surprising character twists and departures. Resuming some months after the bloody conclusion to season one, the position of Governor has once again been challenged.

“It’s time for Joan Ferguson to enter the fray and Pamela is a remarkable addition to the amazing cast for Wentworth’s second season.”

The full main cast line-up is Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith, Nicole da Silva as Franky Doyle, Pamela Rabe as Joan Ferguson, Kate Atkinson as Vera Bennett, Celia Ireland as Liz Birdsworth, Shareena Clanton as Doreen Anderson, Aaron Jeffery as Matthew ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, Robbie Magasiva as Will Jackson and Katrina Milosevic as Sue ‘Boomer’ Jenkins.

Behind the scenes, Amanda Crittenden continues as Wentworth’s producer. Directors Kevin Carlin and Catherine Miller return and are joined by Pino Amenta, Steve Jodrell and Dee McLachlan. Marcia Gardner is script producer and a member of the writing team along with Tim Hobart, Pete McTighe and John Ridley.

Wentworth’s first season has won over critics and audiences in Australia, New Zealand the UK. Season two will premiere on Foxtel’s SoHo channel in 2014.