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Exclusive: Muriel’s Wedding the Musical has found its Muriel

PJ Hogan’s 1994 movie Muriel’s Wedding launched Toni Collette to stardom, earning the actor widespread recognition and her first Golden Globe nomination.

So the actor stepping into the role for the upcoming musical adaptation of the film has massive shoes to fill.

Daily Review can reveal that Muriel will be played by newcomer Maggie McKenna. McKenna is daughter of Kath and Kim star Gina Riley and her producer husband Rick McKenna.

McKenna has been involved in some recent workshops of the show at Sydney Theatre Company, along with fellow rumoured cast member Justine Clarke, who is set to play Muriel’s mother when the show premieres in November at Sydney’s Roslyn Packer Theatre.

It’s been previously announced that Muriel’s Wedding the Musical will be directed by Simon Phillips and designed by Gabriela Tylesova. It features an original score by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, alongside songs by ABBA, and a book adapted by PJ Hogan who wrote and directed the film.

The musical is co-produced by Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, the production company behind Walking with Dinosaurs, King Kong the Musical and Strictly Ballroom the Musical.

Strictly Ballroom the Musical is currently having its North American premiere in Toronto, Canada. Muriel’s Wedding the Musical will also have its North American premiere in Toronto, in April next year, at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.

While Strictly Ballroom is a new production directed by British director Drew McOnie, it will be the Australian production of Muriel’s Wedding, directed by Simon Phillips, that transfers to Toronto. Daily Review understands principal Australian cast members will travel with the show for its which is unusual given the costs that involves.

A workshop of the production was presented to local and international investors in Sydney last month with reports from those who attended saying the response was very enthusiastic.

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