The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - CONFIDENTIAL -

AC­TOR Christie Whe­lan Browne, mak­ing a re­turn with Muriel’s Wed­ding the Mu­si­cal has told how the stage pro­vided a safe place in one of her dark­est pe­ri­ods.

The Melbourne-born star, who en­dured a pub­lic­ity storm when she ac­cused Craig McLach­lan of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and in­de­cent as­sault, will star in the Melbourne season of Muriel’s Wed­ding from March.

She was in the hit Aus­tralian show’s Sydney run dur­ing what she de­scribed as a per­son­ally-dif­fi­cult time.

“That show just sort of held me up,” Whe­lan Browne said. “It was very pub­lic what I was go­ing through and I would go into that stage door ev­ery night to a very safe place where ev­ery­one sup­ported me and loved me.

“The time in Sydney sort of felt like magic. Ev­ery­one was so good at what they did and such good peo­ple and it hap­pened to come at a very dif­fi­cult time for me.”.

She said she was re­ally look­ing for­ward to re­vis­it­ing the role.

The stage and screen ac­tor said she was ex­cited to reprise the role of mean girl ring­leader, Ta­nia Degano and she was also ex­cited to meet the new Muriel, who will be an­nounced soon af­ter a na­tion­wide search. More than 600 women au­di­tioned for the role played by Mag­gie McKenna in Sydney. “I loved Mag­gie and I’m so happy for her suc­cess but I look for­ward to a new Muriel in Melbourne hav­ing her big mo­ment,” she said. McLach­lan, 52, has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions aired by Whe­lan Brown, af­ter the 2014 pro­duc­tion of The Rocky Hor­ror Show. He sued Whe­lan Brown along with the ABC and Fair­fax Me­dia. Whe­lan Browne is re­cov­er­ing from en­dometrio­sis surgery last week. She is pas­sion­ate about rais­ing aware­ness for the con­di­tion, which af­fects one in 10 women. “I think I’ve learnt that I’ve been in the dark a lot with my en­dometrio­sis that there’s not enough aware­ness or fund­ing or re­search,’’ she said. “I’ve learnt that we need to talk about it and a lot of women just suf­fer in si­lence. I want other women to know that they don’t have to. “Es­pe­cially when you are get­ting to my age, you are think­ing about a fam­ily and you wish you had sorted it ear­lier,” the 36-year-old said.

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