Muriel's Wedding (musical)

Muriel's Wedding the Musical is an Australian stage musical, based on the 1994 film of the same name. It has a book by P.J. Hogan (the original film's writer and director), and music and lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, with additional songs originally written for ABBA by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson.

Muriel's Wedding
Poster artwork for 2017 original production of Muriel's Wedding musical.jpg
Logo for the premiere production
MusicKate Miller-Heidke
Keir Nuttall
LyricsKate Miller-Heidke
Keir Nuttall
BookP. J. Hogan
BasisMuriel's Wedding
Premiere6 November 2017 (2017-11-06): Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney
Productions2017 Sydney
2019 Australian Tour


Sydney (2017–2018)Edit

The original production began previews from 6 November 2017 with an official opening on 18 November 2017, and ran until 27 January 2018 at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney, produced by Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures. Simon Phillips directed, and Gabriela Tylesova designed the set and costumes.[1][2][3] The 28-person cast included Maggie McKenna in the title role, Justine Clarke (Muriel's mother, Betty), Gary Sweet (Muriel's father, Bill Heslop),[4] Madeleine Jones (Rhonda), Helen Dallimore (Deidre Chambers), Christie Whelan Browne (Tania Degano), Briallen Clarke (Joanie), Michael Whalley (Perry), Connor Sweeney (Malcolm), Ben Bennett (Brice Nobes) and Stephen Madsen (Alexander Shkuratov).[5][6]

In 2017 it was announced that the Sydney production (and cast) were going to be transferring to Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre, in April 2018.[7][8] However, the North American premiere was later postponed due to "scheduling conflicts", with producer, David Mirvish, planning to stage the show in a subsequent season.[9]

Australian tour (2019–2020)Edit

The musical embarked national tour beginning 12 March 2019 at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.[10] The production then opened at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on 28 June[11] and will be followed by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane from 19 September.[12]

With McKenna performing in the Dear Evan Hansen US tour and Jones joining the Melbourne cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, casting began in September 2018 for two new female leads[13]. On 7 October it was announced that Natalie Abbott would be making her professional debut as Muriel alongside Elizabeth Esguerra as Rhonda.[14] Just days before opening, amidst several rumours it was announced that Esguerra had been removed from the production, with official releases stating "personal reasons", and she was replaced by her first understudy, Stefanie Jones.[15]

Original castsEdit

Character Original Sydney Cast (2017) National Tour Cast (2019)
Muriel Heslop Maggie McKenna Natalie Abbott
Rhonda Epinstall Madeleine Jones Stefanie Jones
Bill Heslop Gary Sweet David James
Betty Heslop Justine Clarke Pippa Grandison
Tania Degano Christie Whelan Browne
Brice Nobes Ben Bennett Jarrod Griffiths
Alexander Shkuratov Stephen Madsen
Ken Blundell Dave Eastgate
Agnetha Fältskog Jaime Hadwen
Anni-Frid Lyngstad Sheridan Harbridge Laura Bunting
Björn Ulvaeus Mark Hill Maxwell Simon
Benny Andersson Aaron Tsindos Evan Lever
Deidre Chambers Helen Dallimore Chelsea Plumley
Janine Nuttall Laura Murphy Imogen Moore
Cheryl Moochmore Manon Gunderson-Briggs Catty Hamilton
Nicole Stumpf Hilary Cole Rachel Cole
Joanie Heslop Briallen Clarke Manon Gunderson-Briggs
Perry Heslop Michael Whalley Jacob Warner
Malcolm Heslop Connor Sweeney Caleb Vines
Charlie Chan Kenneth Moraleda
Peter "Chook" Vernell Aaron Tsindos Joshua Robson

Musical numbersEdit

Act 1

  • "Sunshine State of Mind" – Company
  • "The Bouquet" – Muriel
  • "Meet the Heslops" – Perry, Malcolm, Joanie and Betty
  • "Dancing Queen"† / "The Bouquet" (reprise) – Muriel, Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "Progress" – Bill, Deidre and Company
  • "Can't Hang" – Tania, Cheryl, Nicole and Janine
  • "Lucky Last/Perry Heslop" – Muriel and Perry
  • "Money, Money, Money"† – Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "People People" – Tania, Cheryl, Nicole and Janine
  • "Girls Like Us" – Rhonda and Muriel
  • "Waterloo"† – Rhonda, Muriel, Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "Amazing" – Rhonda and Muriel
  • "Sydney" – Company
  • "Any Ordinary Night"[a] – Company
  • "Strangely Perfect Stranger" – Muriel and Brice
  • "Any Ordinary Night"[a] – Company

Act 2

  • "Perry Heslop" (reprise) – Perry
  • "Here Comes the Bride" – Company
  • "A True Friend" – Muriel and Rhonda
  • "Never Stick Your Neck Out" – Brice and Male Company
  • "Why Can't That Be Me?" – Muriel
  • "True Friend" (reprise) / "Take a Chance on Ken" – Rhonda, Muriel, Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "Life is a Competition" – Ken and Company
  • "Mr and Mrs Shkuratov" – Muriel, Alexander, Ken and Company
  • "Shared, Viral, Linked, Liked" – Tania, Cheryl, Nicole and Janine
  • "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do"† – Tania, Cheryl, Nicole, Muriel, Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "The Bouquet" / "Can't Hang" (reprises) – Company
  • "SOS"† – Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn
  • "My Mother (Eulogy)" – Muriel, Perry, Malcolm, Joanie and Company
  • "Strangely Perfect Stranger" (reprise) – Brice and Muriel
  • "A True Friend" (reprise)[b] – Company

All songs by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, except as noted (†): "Dancing Queen", "Waterloo", "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" and "SOS" by Benny Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson; "Money, Money, Money" and "Super Trouper" by Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus.

Original cast recordingEdit

Muriel's Wedding The Musical (The Original Cast Recording)
Cast recording by
Various artists
Released12 January 2018 (2018-01-12)
LabelSony Music Australia
  • Carmen Pavlovic (exec.)
  • Angela Dalton (exec.)
  • Guy Simpson
  • Pip Norman

The original cast recording was released 12 January 2018 and debuted at #17 on the ARIA Albums Chart in Australia.[16] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2018, the album was nominated for Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album.[17]

1."Sunshine State of Mind"
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
2."The Bouquet"
  • Maggie McKenna
3."Meet the Heslops"
5."Can't Hang"
6."Lucky Last / Perry Heslop"
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Michael Whalley
7."Girls Like Us"
  • Madeleine Jones
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Madeleine Jones
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Sheridan Harbridge
  • Jaime Hadwen
  • Aaron Tsindos
  • Mark Hill
  • Madeleine Jones
  • Maggie McKenna
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
11."Strangely Perfect Stranger"
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Ben Bennett
12."Here Comes the Bride"
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
13."Never Stick Your Neck Out"
  • Ben Bennett
  • The Male Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
14."Why Can't That Be Me?"
  • Maggie McKenna
15."Life Is a Competition"
  • Dave Eastgate
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
16."Mr and Mrs Shkuratov"
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Stephen Madsen
  • Dave Eastgate
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding The Musical
17."Shared, Viral, Linked, Liked"
  • Christie Whelan Browne
  • Manon Gunderson-Briggs
  • Hilary Cole
  • Laura Murphy
  • Jaime Hadwen
  • Sheridan Harbridge
  • Aaron Tsindos
  • Mark Hill
19."My Mother (Eulogy)"
  • Maggie McKenna
  • Michael Whalley
  • Connor Sweeney
  • Briallen Clarke
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding
20."A True Friend"
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding
21."Sydney (Remixed by Pip Norman)"
  • The Cast of Muriel's Wedding


Muriel's Wedding received very positive critical responses.[18] The Sydney Morning Herald commented that: "Muriel's Wedding feels like the complete package: a beloved film seamlessly updated; a central character who retains all the ambiguities that made you root for her in the first place; a conspicuously inventive score peppered with classic pop hits, and a mainstage debut that will be talked about for years. Adapting his own screenplay to the stage and into the social media present, PJ Hogan's book amplifies the Cinderella aspects of Muriel's story without sacrificing the satirical and melancholic elements that gave the film its depth and heart."[19]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Muriel's Wedding received seven 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards, including Best Production of a Mainstage Musical and Best Original Score of a Mainstage Production, as well as for its direction, choreography, musical direction, Jones as female actor in a supporting role in a musical, and McKenna as newcomer. It was nominated for Best New Australian Work, and in four other categories.[20][21]

Its text received the 2018 AWGIE Award for Music Theatre, and the AWGIE Awards' David Williamson award for excellence in writing for Australian theatre.[22]

The musical won five 2018 Helpmann Awards including Best Original Score, and was also nominated for Best Musical and Best New Australian Work, amongst others.

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref(s)
2018 Helpmann Awards Best Choreography in a Musical Andrew Hallsworth Won [23]
Best Direction of a Musical Simon Phillips Nominated
Best Female Actor in a Musical Maggie McKenna Nominated
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Christie Whelan Browne Nominated
Madeleine Jones Nominated
Best Musical Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures Nominated
Best New Australian Work PJ Hogan, Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall Nominated
Best Original Score Kate Miller-Heidke & Keir Nuttall Won
Best Music Direction Isaac Hayward Won
Best Costume Design Gabriela Tylesova Won
Best Sound Design Michael Waters Won


^a While these songs are titled the same, the latter is a reprise.
^b This song is retitled on the cast recording as simply "A True Friend".

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Hetrick, Adam (8 September 2016). "Muriel's Wedding Stage Musical Will Feature ABBA Songs". Playbill. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  2. ^ Taylor, Andrew (8 September 2016). "Muriel's Wedding revived as a musical in Sydney Theatre Company's 2017 season". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  3. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (8 September 2016). "Musical Muriel's Wedding Set To Become Global Creatures' Latest Stage Venture". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  4. ^ Pitt, Helen (7 September 2017). "Gary Sweet to play Bill Hunter's role in Muriel's Wedding the Musical". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  5. ^ Harmon, Steph (13 June 2017). "'Muriel would be a YouTube star now': Maggie McKenna to star in Muriel's Wedding the Musical". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Muriel's Wedding the Musical has found its Muriel". 22 May 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Muriel's Wedding The Musical to head to Melbourne in 2019". Arts Review. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  11. ^ Cooper, Nathanael (22 January 2018). "You can't stop progress: Muriel's Wedding gets second Sydney run". The Age. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - Musical - Muriel's Wedding - The Musical". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  17. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (11 October 2018). "2018 ARIA Award Nominees Announced". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  18. ^ Roundups, Review. "Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh in on MURIEL'S WEDDING – THE MUSICAL". Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  19. ^ Blake, Jason (20 November 2017). "Muriel's Wedding the Musical review: Maggie McKenna's dream debut". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  20. ^ Nguyen, Justine (22 January 2018). "2017 Sydney Theatre Awards announced". Limelight. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  21. ^ "2017 Sydney Theatre Awards - Nominees and Winners". Sydney Theatre Awards. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  22. ^ Maddox, Garry (30 August 2018). "Animated short film with no dialogue wins top writing award". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  23. ^ "2018 Nominees". Helpmann Awards. Retrieved 22 June 2018.