“Winds in the East, there’s a mist coming in. Like something’s brewing, about to begin”. Well, technically the show began with previews in October but it’s official! Mary Poppins is back in the West End and my goodness are London audiences in for a treat.
Mary Poppins is the iconic image of Nannies across the world. She first appeared in the beloved tales by P L Travers in 1934, and became a firm Disney favorite 30 years later. In the early 00’s the film and books were combined by Disney and legendary producer Cameron Mackintosh to create the musical of all musicals! 15 years after its original West End opening, the smash hit musical has returned to home to The Prince Edward Theatre and is dazzling a new generation of fans.
As with the majority of Disney productions, they just seem to get everything right. We of course have the iconic show stoppers like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Step in Time, we have the beautifully delicate numbers like Feed the Birds (I’m not crying … there’s bird seeds in my eye) and Let’s Go Fly a Kite, but we also have a selection of new numbers like Being Mrs Banks and Anything Can Happen. Whether old or new these songs are performed with passion, joy and jaw-dropping choreography. You cannot help but simply beam at the spectacle before you.
While this show is filled with an array of stars, there are two actors who were simply born to lead this production.
Obviously everybody’s very protective of Mary Poppins. After all, who could ever live up the standards set by Queen Julie Andrews? Her Mary was iconic, legendary and beautiful, but this is without a doubt my favourite thing about Zizi Strallen’s performance. Instead of trying to replicate those before her, Zizi presents her version of Mary. A Mary who’s sophisticated, strong, sassy, kind, fierce as hell and will quite frankly always be my favourite stage Mary.
Again, finding an actor who could match the sheer brilliance of Dick Van Dyke was never going to be an easy task. All I can say in regards to this is thank goodness the West End has Charlie Stemp. Charlie is cheeky, he’s charming, he’s unbelievably talented and is the Bert we’ve all been waiting for. I honestly do not believe this role could’ve been cast better and feel honoured to have seen Charlie in what is undoubtedly his best role to date.
With a little bit of magic, a variety of colour and a whole lot of brilliance, this is a fantastic production for the entire family. So what are you waiting for? Step in Time to The Prince Edward and grab your tickets for this Practically Perfect production.
One thing I will add is that if you want to be completely immersed in the magic don’t sit too close to front. We sat in row G and would suggest sitting a little further back. Although beautiful some of the magic tricks aren’t quite as impressive up close.
Mary Poppins is running at the Prince Edward Theatre till October 2020. For more information or to book tickets head to the official production website.
Review Date: 28/11
Cast at the Performance I attended: Zizi Strallen, Charlie Stemp, Joseph Millson, Amy Griffiths, Petula Clark and the brilliant team of ensembles and swings.
Images courtesy of Google Images.