After a sold-out season at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in 2017, Muriel's Wedding The Musical is returning in 2019 for a short two months at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. The return season follows the show winning a slew of awards at this month's Helpmann Awards, Australia's annual awards for live entertainment and performing arts.
Muriel's Wedding The Musical picked up five gongs across the two nights of awards — July 15 and 16 — including Best Original Score, Best Music Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design and Best Choreography in a Musical. Its awards made up half of Sydney Theatre Company's total of ten — which was more than any other company.
A co-production between Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, the musical adaptation of Muriel's Wedding is like a perfect high school reunion — maximum 80s nostalgia without having to tell any of your old friends you're in HR now.
When Muriel Heslop realises that the small town of Porpoise Spit has nothing in store but grim futures, she decides to take off, with only her parents' chequebook, a couple of ABBA albums memorised note for note and a vague sense that the wider world has something that she is hungry for.
PJ Hogan, who wrote and directed Muriel's cinematic adventure, has adapted and updated the script for the stage, while Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall have built the music around ABBA's towering back catalogue. There's a real buzz around Muriel. Sure, it's a chance to re-immerse yourself in the unadulterated joy of Muriel's hijinks, but it's also because Muriel hasn't stopped holding the mirror up to our desperate, fame-hungry society since she first hit the screen. As director Simon Phillips points out: "Muriel's governing delusion is becoming a celebrity and becoming famously married. The world has caught up with Muriel."
Image: Christine Messinesi.