MURIEL’S MUSICAL A TONIC
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.