Muriel’s heart-warming tale takes a flamboyant leap onto stage!
It’s been 25 years since PJ Hogan grabbed our attention with the unforgettable and uniquely Australian film, Muriel’s Wedding.
The comedy-drama has now been spectacularly transformed into a musical, set in the current day, thanks to some further writing by PJ Hogan, with music composed by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttal and under the prolific direction of Simon Phillips.
The show’s opening number sets the tone with an iconic Australian scene of surfers and beach goers bursting into song. It goes on to feature many familiar Australianisms, including the Hills Hoist and Sydney Harbour Bridge, with a touch of Mardi Gras thrown in for good measure.
The endearing Muriel, played by Natalie Abbot, is unsatisfied with her small town life in Porpoise Spit and longs for something more. Not only is she part of a highly dysfunctional family, overshadowed by her father’s shady dealings, she feels left out and is eventually rejected by her group of fickle friends.
Throughout her life, Muriel has always found solace in the uplifting tunes of ABBA. In the musical, we are treated to Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Bjorn and Benny’s presence throughout, performing the beloved songs in Muriel’s (and her mother’s) thoughts, and comically bursting out of cupboards and store windows and a range of other scenarios.
Muriel seizes an opportunity to escape her mundane life and this is where she is fortunate enough to meet the free spirited Rhonda, impressively performed by Stephanie Jones. Rhonda becomes Muriel’s one true friend and encourages her to follow her dreams and move to Sydney where ‘everyone is free to be themselves’.
In Sydney Muriel pursues her ultimate dream to have a glamorous wedding that will catapult her out of the ordinary – but at what cost?
Muriel goes too far in the pursuit of her dream by entering into a fake marriage and forsaking her best friend and long suffering mother along the way. Realising her mistakes she sets about putting things right.
The most noticeable change to the story apart from the music is its clever incorporation of the digital age which enhances both the story and the comedy. With highly amusing observations about social sharing, selfies, hashtags and the effect of influencers. Overall the observational humour throughout was magnificently performed, with great comedic delivery from the cast. It was further supported by thoughtful costume design, lighting and special effects.
While there are some darker parts of the plot in the second half which give the story its depth, the overall feel of the show is colourful, flamboyant and fun. In addition to a fabulous musical score, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical is destined to have international appeal, thanks to the many classic Australian attributes it incorporates, held dear both in Australia and abroad.
MELBOURNE SEASON 2019
Her Majesty’s Theatre
SYDNEY SEASON 2019
Sydney Lyric Theatre
Previews from June 28
Opening night July 4
Muriel’sWeddingThe MusicalOriginal Cast Recordingis available now,check this linkHEREfor retailers and streaming information.
“Muriel’s Wedding The Musical is destined to have international appeal” ~ What’s My Scene