How often do you walk out of a musical thinking, “Ahhh great night, but the film was way better” or “Awesome acting, but not enough vibrancy on stage.” I know I do. Makes all the difference when you’re paying $100 per ticket.
The hilarious ABBA presence, unique soundtrack, colourful costumes, set props & verbatim movie script all fulfil that Dancing Queen genre.
There is one drawback, however. Not enough ABBA music! My heart was expecting more ABBA beats to refresh my dancing feet. I left thinking, “Oh brilliant performance, but why did they not utilise more of ABBA’s talent, the music that connects so well with Muriel’s Wedding?”
Mmmm, I soon discovered a little more about the theatre and film industry; how complex and time consuming it is to be granted the rights to use ABBA’s soundtrack. I guess Money Money Money talks – or in their defence, some directors in the past have abused the delicacy of ABBA music and ridiculed it to their fashion. So ABBA is rightfully protecting their art!
But don’t fear, you will get your money’s worth. Every character shines on stage. From Muriel to the Heslop siblings to the mean girls who add a colourful touch. They compliment each other wonderfully, so well that you could separate the cast and still have a storyline.
One of the highlights would have to be seeing Pippa Grandison, who played one of the mean girls in the film, make a grand appearance as Muriel’s mother 25 years later! In the words of the star, “Filmed on a small budget, no one guessed it would take off and be so successful.”
Muriel’s Wedding The Musical
Her Majesty’s Theatre, 219 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Season continues to 16 June 2019
Information and Bookings: www.murielsweddingthemusical.com
Following its Melbourne season, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical plays the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 28 June; and the QPAC Lyric Theatre, Brisbane from 19 September 2019.
Image: Natalie Abbott in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical – photo by Jeff Busby
Review: Joanne Kmaid