Sydney Theatre Company has announced that Maggie McKenna will take the lead role for its upcoming production, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical – the stage version of the 1994 film starring Toni Colette.
Premiering in November, it will be Maggie’s theatrical debut, after her recent return from Los Angeles where she trained at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
While Maggie might be new to the stage, her mother is not. She’s the daughter of actor and writer Gina Riley, best know for her role as Kim, in hit TV series Kath and Kim.
The stage play for the show has been written by PJ Hogan, writer of the original screenplay.
“When I made the film, Muriel was a difficult part to cast,” PJ said. “So my smile was huge when I met Toni Collette. Almost 25 years later I smiled that same smile when I met Maggie McKenna.”
Director Simon Phillips said: “It’s hard to describe the thrill you get when, after months of searching, you suddenly clap eyes on the person who feels destined to play a role.
“The odds of that happening are significantly raised when the bar has been set as high as Toni Collette’s performance in the film. But when Maggie McKenna sent us a gambit audition tape from LA, where she was studying at the time, we all felt that thrill. We hustled her back to the country, put her through her paces to check it wasn’t a trick of the camera and all mentally high-fived.
“It’s going to be a challenging ride for her I’m sure – a huge role to score at the age of 20 – but I feel sure she’s about to take Porpoise Spit by storm.”