Global Creatures has announced the actors playing the roles of one of the greatest stage and screen friendships of all time: Muriel and Rhonda in the upcoming Melbourne and Sydney seasons of Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.
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.
And much like Muriel, Natalie left her small coastal town and moved to the big smoke – Sydney, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre at the Australian Institute of Music.
“I am overjoyed to be playing Muriel, if I try really, really hard I honestly cannot think of another character I relate to as much as her,” said Abbott. “This is a dream come true, all my life all I have ever wanted to do was to perform in musicals and to be playing such an important role is going to be a challenge I cannot wait to commence.”
Stepping into the role of Muriel’s best friend Rhonda is young actor Elizabeth Esguerra. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and training at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Elizabeth has performed in numerous stage productions, most recently lead roles in the Malthouse Theatre productions of Revolt. She said. Revolt again and Turbine.
“I am so excited to be embarking on this incredible adventure with Natalie, we have started rehearsing together and we already feel the chemistry, just like BFF’s,” said Esguerra. “Rhonda is fearless and fun, she has an incredible journey throughout this story that I am looking forward to going on with her.”
Winner of 5 Helpmann Awards, 7 Sydney Theatre Awards and an Awgie Award, 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!
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.
“It’s so exciting to have discovered two such exceptional young women to play Muriel and Rhonda,” said Director Simon Phillips. “These iconic characters represent all that is joyous about Muriel’s Wedding – outsiders who defy convention and popularity to conquer the world on their own terms – and with Natalie and Elizabeth I feel we’ve found the perfect pair to bring all that warmth, wickedness and ultimately moving drama to our story.”
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. The Muriel’s Wedding The Musical Original Cast Recording is available now!
Muriel’s Wedding The Musical will play a strictly limited season in Melbourne at Her Majesty’s Theatre from March 2019 before returning to Sydney in June 2019 playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre and tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit: www.murielsweddingthemusical.com for details.
Image: Natalie Abbott and Elizabeth Esguerra to star in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical – photo by James Green