“Winds in the East, mist coming in, like Somethin’ is brewin and bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, But I fear what’s to happen all happened before.”
Mary Poppins, Ever since that Prim and Proper, Clever, Musical and Magical nanny floated down to the Banks family doorstep and into our hearts, it has been a story that has been loved around the world by audiences of all ages.
Adapted from the beloved stories by PL Travers and the original film, the musical Mary Poppins takes elements from both to create the stage production. Although not a direct translation from the film there are a few musical adaptions created for this stage production. Audiences will be able to sing along to many of the timeless favourites including Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Feed the birds and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. New songs and additional music and lyrics have been created by George Stiles and Anthony Drew. including the now praised “Practically Perfect and “Anything Can Happen.”
This stage musical is Practically perfect from the moment the world’s favourite nanny takes a coat stand from her bag. The reimagined set design by Bob Crawley is imaginative. It is a very technical show, with complicated, but still swift, set transitions. Everything is full of colour and movement on an impressive scale. Crowley’s costumes are similarly full of detail, down to the tear in a brought to life doll’s seam. If there ever was a show that could transport you into a sense of childlike wonder and glee, it’s this one. Delightful performances, visually stunning sets, technical trickery and stunts that up themselves everytime, this is a well oiled machine with a sprinkle of what I like to say irresistible Disney magic.
The big production numbers like ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and ‘Step in Time’ are also visually exciting and executed with flawless energy.
Stefanie Jones delivers especially prim and proper performance as Mary Poppins, always poised in her stance, with hands clasped and feet turned out, instantly recognisable as the character she is portraying. While Jack Chambers delivers a grounded and charming Bert, the tap-dancing chimney sweeping lamp lighter all the while bringing some much needed good natured larrikinism to the role. Audiences will sympathise and connect with Mrs Winifred Banks, played by Lucy Maunder who is struggling to run the Banks family without a nanny and without the support of her husband, George Banks, portrayed by Tom Wren.
I was going to mention the finale that has the audience on their feet. But i’ll allow you to experience that surprise yourself. It’s what Mary Poppins would want.
So Step In Time Melbourne as this must see production is now playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and won’t be around forever. For tickets and more information head to marypoppinsmusical.com.au
Photo credit Daniel Boud