Muriel’s Wedding the Musical from Porpoise Spit to Melbourne

Muriel’s Wedding was first written and directed as a film in 1994 by Paul. J Hogan and fast became an Australian household name as one of our most loved comedy drama’s. Muriel had one dream only and that was to get married have a glamorous wedding and get the hell out of ‘Porpoise Spit’ and move to Sydney away from her father Bill, a corrupt politician who constantly belittles his wife, Betty, and five children.

The highly acclaimed Muriel’s Wedding has been adapted into a highly anticipated new Australian musical produced by Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures, ‘Muriel’s Wedding the Musical’ commenced in Melbourne at Her Majesty’s Theatre on March 23.

Winner of 5 Helpmann Awards, 7 Sydney Theatre Awards, an Awgie Award, the 2018 David Williamson Prize and an ARIA Award Nomination, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical celebrated its’ world premiere in Sydney in November 2017 and was hailed a smash hit by critics and audiences alike:

“Incredible. It will be talked about for years.” Sydney Morning Herald
“The music was sensational” The Daily Telegraph
“Extraordinary” The Australian
“This is a show with heart” The Guardian
“Every bit as funny as the film” Daily Review
“Has the biggest heart in the world…” Time Out

Taking on the iconic and much-loved lead role of Muriel Heslop, in her very first professional stage production, is Natalie Abbott. Hailing from the South Coast of NSW, 23-year-old Natalie has been ‘singing since before she could talk’ – according to her mother. Stepping into the role of Muriel’s best friend Rhonda is Stefanie Jones. Stefanie’s musical theatre career began at the age of seven when she appeared as Young Eponine in Cameron Mackintosh’s 10th Anniversary Tour of Les Misérables.

The cast also includes David James (The Boy From Oz, The Sound of Music) as Bill Heslop, Pippa Grandison (Mary Poppins, We Will Rock You) as Betty Heslop, Jacob Warner ( The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet) as Perry Heslop, Caleb Vines (The Wizard of Oz, How To Train Your Dragon) as Malcolm Heslop and Manon Gunderson-Briggs (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical original Sydney season) as Joanie Heslop. Christie Whelan Browne (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical original Sydney season) will play the role of Tania Degano, Imogen Moore (Oklahoma!, Anything Goes) as Janine Nuttall and Catty Hamilton (MAMMA MIA!) as Cheryl Moochmore. Jaime Hadwen (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical original Sydney season) will play Agnetha Fältskog with Laura Bunting (Wicked, Mary Poppins) playing Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Maxwell Simon (Green Day’s American Idiot, The Boy From Oz) as Björn Ulvaeus and Evan Lever (Anything Goes, La Cage Aux Folles) as Benny Andersson. Chelsea Plumley (Sunset Boulevard, Grease) will play the role of Deidre Chambers, Brice Nobes will be played by Jarrod Griffiths (professional debut) with Stephen Madsen (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical original Sydney season) as Alexander Shkuratov, Dave Eastgate (Doctor Doctor, Open Slather) as Ken Blundell and Kenneth Moraleda (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical original Sydney season) as Charlie Chan. The Muriel’s Wedding The Musical ensemble cast includes Colin Dean, Tom Sharah, Joshua Robson, Kaeng Chan, Noni McCallum, Ashleigh Rubenach, Prue Bell, David Ouch, Jan Di Pietro, Zoe Coppinger, Andrew Seymour and Caitlin Quinn.

The stellar creative team behind the critically acclaimed production is led by award-winning theatre director Simon Phillips, set and costume designer Gabriela Tylesova, choreographer Andrew Hallsworth, lighting designer Trent Suidgeest, sound designer Michael Waters, music supervisor Isaac Hayward and musical director Daniel Puckey.

Muriel’s Wedding The Musical is a theatrical version of PJ Hogan’s iconic hit film, updated to today by the writer himself with music and lyrics by Australian award-winning songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall with additional songs by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, and Stig Anderson written for ABBA.

Her Majesty’s Theatre

Photography Sam Tabone

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