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You're musical, Muriel
House of many stories
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The great Australian musical can easily be mistaken as an understudy in the wings, struggling for the spotlight in competition with Disney lions, British boots and Mormons on a mission.

Yet as Sydney Theatre Company prepares to launch Muriel’s Wedding the Musical at the Roslyn Packer Theatre this November, with an eye to domestic and international success, it is but the latest strike in a rich seam of quintessential Australian musical storytelling, with better-than-even odds of kicking up its uggs from the West End to Broadway.

In his hit 1994 film, PJ Hogan based Muriel on his own sister, and cast her with Toni Collette – a role that launched both their careers.


James Brett is the founder of The Museum of Everything, a collection of 2000 works by some 200 people who mostly don’t call themselves artists. Brett has a background in film, photography, architecture and design. I met him at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art) to discuss the show and the line between insider and outsider art.

Steve Dow: The people in The Museum of Everything make art, not for us, but for themselves. Are you trying to break down the barrier between insider and outsider art?

James Brett: There is no such thing as outsider art. There are no outsiders. There is no such thing as disability; there is only ability. We create the distinctions, but art, as a concept, was also created by us, and it existed a long time before the word.




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