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Muriel's Wedding : The Musical single work   musical theatre   - 3 hours
Adaptation of Muriel's Wedding P. J. Hogan , 1994 single work film/TV
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Muriel's Wedding : The Musical
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Muriel Heslop is back! In this highly-anticipated world premiere, the iconic Australian film is set to become an equally iconic laugh-out-loud musical.

'Stuck in a dead-end life in Porpoise Spit, Muriel dreams of the perfect wedding – the white dress, the church, the attention. Unfortunately, there’s one thing missing. A groom. Following her dreams to Sydney, Muriel ends up with everything she ever wanted – a man, a fortune and a million Twitter followers. That’s when things start to go really wrong.

'The film’s original writer-director PJ Hogan has updated his screenplay into a dazzling new stage show, bringing the story into the present but keeping all the irreverence and naughtiness of the film along with its dark edge.' (Production summary)

Notes

  • Additional Awards:

    Nominations:

    Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Christie Whelan Brown), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

    Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Madeleine Jones), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

    Best Female Actor in a Musical (Natalie Abbott), Helpmann Awards, 2019.

    Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Pippa Grandison), Helpmann Awards, 2019.

    Wins:

    Best Costume Design (Gabriela Tylesova), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

    Best Sound Design (Michael Waters), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

    Best Music Direction (Isaac Hayward), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

    Best Choreography (Andrew Hallsworth), Helpmann Awards, 2018.

Production Details

  • A Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures production. World premiere at Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney: 6 November - 30 December 2017.

    Director: Simon Phillips.

    Set & Costume Designer: Gabriela Tylesova.

    Music & lyrics: Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall. With songs by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson originally written for ABBA.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

[Theatre] Muriel’s Wedding : The Musical Peter Craven , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 6-12 April 2019;

— Review of Muriel's Wedding : The Musical P. J. Hogan , 2017 single work musical theatre

'With the transformation of Muriel’s Wedding for the stage, some of the film’s winsome ugly-duckling charm has been lost, and along with it the story’s emotional reality.'  (Article summary)

Australian Company Making It on Broadway Hopes to Take Muriel's Wedding Global Michaela Boland , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , March 2019;

'Investing money in musicals is risky business, but the caravan king behind a new tour of the stage musical Muriel's Wedding isn't just out to make cash.'  (Article summary)

Helpmann Awards : Muriel's Wedding The Musical Leads the 'First Act' Announcement of Winners Dee Jefferson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , July 2018;

'Muriel's Wedding The Musical scored big in Sunday night's Helpmann Awards ceremony "Act 1" at Sydney's Capitol Theatre — the first of two ceremonies, and the first time Live Performance Australia has split its annual awards event.'  (Introduction)

[Review Essay] Muriel's Wedding: The Musical Susan Lever , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: ABR : Arts 2017; Australian Book Review , January–February no. 398 2018; (p. 63)

'On Monday night I attended a performance of the Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty where the audience gasped in wonder as the curtains parted on the final act: three massive chandeliers were lit then raised above a cream and gold confection of a set which put Versailles to shame. On Thursday night, I was at Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical where the sets and costumes are bright and garish, adding a satiric commentary of their own to the show’s cheerfully vulgar view of contemporary Australia. Gabriela Tylesova designed the sets and costumes for both productions – from Aurora’s wedding to Muriel’s wedding – with equal flair. The talent has gathered around Muriel’s Wedding.'  (Introduction)

Changing the Ending of Muriel’s Wedding Was a Betrayal of Its Feminist Spirit Sophie Mathisen , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 19 December 2017;

'In the all-singing, all-dancing stage musical update, this narrative and its implicit social commentary is almost unrecognisable. Gone is the bolshy ending; instead, a character who barely had four minutes of air time in the film – Brice, literally the first person Muriel kissed – returns to declare his love and drive both her and Rhonda to “happily ever after” on a bicycle trailer. While in the film, Muriel walked away from her faux-relationship with the hunky visa-chasing South African swimmer David after their first copulation; in the musical, her husband is a closeted Russian who realises the truth about his sexuality only after sleeping with Muriel. Crucially, where Muriel desperately sought marriage as proof of being “somebody”, she now not only desires marriage but, as importantly, Insta-fame. In conflating such disparate desires, Hogan not only identifies himself as belonging to the techno-panic generation, he also calls into question the very thing that endeared feminists to the film: its criticism of marriage as the pinnacle of female achievement.' (Introduction)

Muriel's Wedding Revived as a Musical in Sydney Theatre Company's 2017 Season Andrew Taylor , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 8 September 2016;

— Review of Muriel's Wedding : The Musical P. J. Hogan , 2017 single work musical theatre

'The Sydney Theatre Company will bring one of Australia's best-loved movies to the stage, with a musical version of Muriel's Wedding headlining its 2017 season.'

'The film's original writer and director, P.J. Hogan, will update his story of the downtrodden dreamer from Porpoise Spit into the social media era, while maintaining Muriel's obsession with ABBA and a white wedding. ...'

Muriel’s Wedding: the Musical Is a Deeply Satisfying Tribute to Australia’s Most-loved Dag Leigh Boucher , 2017 single work
— Appears in: The Conversation , 23 November 2017;

— Review of Muriel's Wedding : The Musical P. J. Hogan , 2017 single work musical theatre

Muriel Heslop occupies a precious position in Australian cultural life. She is, perhaps, our most-loved dag. The creative team that has transformed her story into a musical have produced a deeply satisfying night at the theatre. Any moment of translation carries with it the possibility of disappointment and betrayal. But the Sydney Theatre Company’s Muriel’s Wedding: the Musical makes us fall in love with this story all over again.

Muriel's Wedding the Musical: How Channelling Mark Latham Brought Muriel up to Date Caitlin Welsh , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 18 November 2017;

— Review of Muriel's Wedding : The Musical P. J. Hogan , 2017 single work musical theatre

'For 20 years people had been telling PJ Hogan that Muriel’s Wedding could work as a musical.His 1994 debut feature told the story of dumpy, dreamy twenty-something Muriel Heslop, who retreated from her disappointing life and verbally abusive family by blasting ABBA songs and fantasising about fame. The film, a gloriously sly satire of small-town Australia, transcended its idiosyncratic setting and sense of humour to become a surprise international hit, scoring then-unknown Toni Collette a Golden Globe nomination, and kickstarting Hollywood careers for both her and Hogan.' (Introduction)

[Theatre] Muriel’s Wedding : The Musical Peter Craven , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 6-12 April 2019;

— Review of Muriel's Wedding : The Musical P. J. Hogan , 2017 single work musical theatre

'With the transformation of Muriel’s Wedding for the stage, some of the film’s winsome ugly-duckling charm has been lost, and along with it the story’s emotional reality.'  (Article summary)

Oh Yeah : Muriel Says 'I Do' to STC Musical Andrew Taylor , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9 September 2016; (p. 13)
From Porpoise Spit to Broadway? That's the Dream for Muriel's Wedding the Musical Andrew Taylor , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 10 September 2016;

'Yearning to escape her unhappy life in Porpoise Spit, Muriel Heslop made it as far as Sydney in the 1994 movie Muriel's Wedding.'

'But the bright lights of Broadway may beckon the downtrodden dreamer when the Australian film is transformed into a musical, according to Kate Miller-Heidke. ...'

How to Make the Australian Musical : from The Sapphires to Strictly Ballroom Steve Dow , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 15 June 2017;
'With Muriel’s Wedding the Musical making its debut in November, we take a look back at mainstage shows through the ages – the good and the bad.'
Changing the Ending of Muriel’s Wedding Was a Betrayal of Its Feminist Spirit Sophie Mathisen , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 19 December 2017;

'In the all-singing, all-dancing stage musical update, this narrative and its implicit social commentary is almost unrecognisable. Gone is the bolshy ending; instead, a character who barely had four minutes of air time in the film – Brice, literally the first person Muriel kissed – returns to declare his love and drive both her and Rhonda to “happily ever after” on a bicycle trailer. While in the film, Muriel walked away from her faux-relationship with the hunky visa-chasing South African swimmer David after their first copulation; in the musical, her husband is a closeted Russian who realises the truth about his sexuality only after sleeping with Muriel. Crucially, where Muriel desperately sought marriage as proof of being “somebody”, she now not only desires marriage but, as importantly, Insta-fame. In conflating such disparate desires, Hogan not only identifies himself as belonging to the techno-panic generation, he also calls into question the very thing that endeared feminists to the film: its criticism of marriage as the pinnacle of female achievement.' (Introduction)

[Review Essay] Muriel's Wedding: The Musical Susan Lever , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: ABR : Arts 2017; Australian Book Review , January–February no. 398 2018; (p. 63)

'On Monday night I attended a performance of the Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty where the audience gasped in wonder as the curtains parted on the final act: three massive chandeliers were lit then raised above a cream and gold confection of a set which put Versailles to shame. On Thursday night, I was at Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical where the sets and costumes are bright and garish, adding a satiric commentary of their own to the show’s cheerfully vulgar view of contemporary Australia. Gabriela Tylesova designed the sets and costumes for both productions – from Aurora’s wedding to Muriel’s wedding – with equal flair. The talent has gathered around Muriel’s Wedding.'  (Introduction)

Last amended 16 Apr 2020 08:20:56
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