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Mary Poppins

While you're in London for Wicked, we also recommend Mary Poppins.

Review, Song list, Cast album, Links, Tickets

Buy Mary Poppins Tickets: LondonTheatreDirect.com

Mary Poppins London Cast - CD

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Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins London Cast CD - Dress Circle London

Track Listings
1. Prologue/Chim Chim Cheree
2. Cherry Tree Lane Pt 1
3. The Perfect Nanny
4. Cherry Tree Lane Pt 2
5. Practically Perfect
6. Jolly Holiday
7. Cheery Tree Lane (reprise)/Being Mrs Banks/Jolly Holiday (reprise)
8. A Spoonful Of Sugar
9. Feed the Birds
10. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
11. Temper, Temper
12. Chim Chim Cheree
13. Cherry tree Lane (reprise) 1
14. Brimstone & Treacle
15. Let's Go Fly A Kite
16. Good For Nothing/Being Mrs Banks (reprise)
17. Brimstone & Treacle Pt 2
18. Step In Time
19. A Man Has dreams/A Spponful Of Sugar (reprise)
20. Anything Can Happen
21. A Spoonful of Sugar (reprise)
22. A Shooting Star

Who Needs A Nanny?

A review of Mary Poppins as seen in London in March 2005

by Gerry Sloan

After years of speculation and a triumphant out of town try out Mary Poppins has flown onto the London stage with a freshness and confidence that has turned this latest mega-musical into an intelligent, crowd pleasing hit.

Mary Poppins is a co-production between Disney and Cameron Mackintosh based on the hit movie and book of the same name. The stage incarnation thanks to an A list production team and cast manages to honour its source material whilst becoming something new and unique in its own right. Rarely has a London musical felt so complete in its own inventiveness. The stage show faithfully creates the magic movie moments and then turns them on their head resulting in audiences expectations being met and then fully surpassed.

The book by Julian Fellows tells the story of the Banks family with its two troubled children Jane and Michael in need of discipline, order and love. The question is who actually needs the nanny the children or the parents? The Banks children wish for the perfect nanny and when Mary Poppins arrives their world is turned upside down. Mr Banks (movingly played by David Haig) is a starched upstart of a man who by evenings end is transformed into loving father with his spirit of adventures re-awakened. His wife played by the sublime Linzi Hately clearly loves him but can't communicate with him. In the shows most moving song "Being Mrs Banks" she sings of her anguish at not being allowed to love him fully. As the show moves from scene to scene the family is pulled apart and put back together with lessons learned and relationships strengthened magically brought about by a certain flying nanny. Mary Poppins may be a classic book and movie but the stage shows story like all classic musicals will be felt world wide.

Any Mary Poppins will stand and fall by its central casting and at the shows heart a star has been born. Laura Michelle Kelly plays Poppins with a haughty self regard with an equal twinkling of fun and mischievousness. Given a superb star entrance and exit Laura is the real thing complete with magic carpet bag! She sings beautifully and whether flying up banisters, tap dancing across roof tops or making the children's world sparkle this Poppins is fully in command. Playing beautifully against Bert (an athletic and attention grabbing performance by Gavin Lee without the dreadful accent of Dick Van Dyke), Laura Michelle Kelly has won raves for a performance that cleverly respects a certain Julie Andrews and then surpasses it. Teaching the children lessons in life has never been so fun filled.

The supporting cast are equally strong with a wickedly malicious performance from Rosemary Ashe as Mary Poppins untimely replacement who meets a deserving end.

Much like Wicked, Mary Poppins is a large, crowd pleasing show with an intelligent book that respects and strengthens its original source. Like Wicked it's a show filled with enough fun to delight children but with enough wit and surprises to equally enchant adults.

As designed by Bob Crowley Victorian England has never looked better. From the wonderful split levelled Banks house (which does everything but take a bow), to flying nursery, to inky star filled London skies to a park filled with dancing statues Mary Poppins is wonderfully designed with Crowley also providing elegant and witty costumes.

Star choreographer Mathew Bourne has at his disposal a cracking team of dancers and adds athletic, original choreography to the most famous numbers. In Poppins he has outdone himself. The shows stand out dance number Step in Time sends the audience into a frenzy of cheering. Tap dancing chimney sweeps storm the stage whilst Gavin Lee as Bert defies gravity by walking around the proscenium arch. Surely one of the best numbers ever to grace a London stage and worthy of an audiences roar.

The famous Disney songs have been re-thought and re-organised and party re-written by one of Britain's most talented song writing teams George Stiles (Music) and Anthony Drewe (lyrics) whose moment has finally come. They provide Poppins with a witty first song "Practically Perfect" and a superb finale "Anything That Can Happen", which has become this year's most quoted song from a stage show. But all are beautifully written and equally at home with the old favourites.

Richard Eyre has directed the show with a firm hand and keeps the evening in continuous fluid motion. The superb special effects are never allowed to distract from the story and the surprises are constant and original.

The show, is a superbly produced, beautifully crafted, moving entertainment that will exceed your expectations and transport audiences to musical theatre heaven with its mixture of intimate moments, all out show stoppers and star performances. Its nightly ovations are richly deserved and the show has re-awakened the West end to the fact that at last it has a world wide, ticket frenzy phenomenon on its hands

When Miss Poppins ascends into the auditorium during the gasp inducing finale its hard not to feel magically transported. After all this is what musical theatre should do. The show succeeds beautifully. To quote the famous nanny its "practically perfect in every way."

Book Mary Poppins Tickets at London Theatre Direct

Buy Mary Poppins Tickets - LondonTheatreDirect.com

Official Site - UK | Review - Theatrepeople.com.au

Disney Theatrical - Official Site

 

Region II DVD of the movie:

wickedwestend.co.uk
Carol's Wicked UK Site. Carol is also webmaster for the official fan site for Wicked's composer Stephen Schwartz