I spend a lot of time at either the cinema or theatre. You will then find reviews from these films and shows!

Mary Poppins (UK Tour) Review

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Cast

Zizi Strallen – Mary Poppins

Matt Lee – Bert

Antony Lawrence – George Banks

Rebecca Lock – Winifred Banks

Violet Tucker – Jane Banks

Finley Miller – Michael Banks

Wendy Ferguson – Mrs Brill

Venue: Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016

It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious . . . Would you really be expecting anything else? I thought not, I have to admit that I was extremely excited to eventually get to see Mary Poppins on the stage for the very first time. It is every bit as magical as you would expect and well even more! It certainly pushes theatre boundaries and manages to create a really special atmosphere. The stage was very impressive from the first moment when the house comes out towards the front of the stage and then you just know that it is going to be something very special. I guess when a touring show has to stay for a long period in a theatre you know the staging and effects are going to be something else.

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Who doesn’t love Mary Poppins? What a character to take on and Zizi Strallen is truly amazing, from the moment she first appears on stage everything about her performance is magical. With an incredible vocal range and acting performance, she really is practically perfect in every way as the iconic character. Even the tiny little details like the way she stands when on stage and moves about captures everything we know and love about Mary Poppins. She gets to do some rather cool things as well, don’t worry everything you expect to happen does, and well more! The ending was just well wow, so impressive to see in a Theatre!

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Matt Lee took on the role of Bert and he acts as well the narrator at the same time as being very involved in the story and plenty of dance routines. He gets some rather cool stunts as well. Another great performance and he really brings across the character as so likeable which was very entertaining to watch, he had that cockney edge and looks to be having the time of his life on stage.

The story is certainly a lot darker than the way the film goes and that is how you can tell this has been based on the book and adapted from that. Don’t worry though as you get so many fantastic moments that you will remember from the film version, but something that is even better is that we get some different songs and even some brand new songs for this production. All of which fit in very nicely and give Mr and Mrs Banks more stage time which is certainly important to the story. George Banks is not painted in a very good light at all, no time for his children and very fixated on his work, not even very nicely spoken towards his devoted wife Winifred either. So Mary Poppins really does have her work cut out especially with Jane and Michael who do not like listening to well anyone at all.

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That certainly gives brilliant character development over the course of the show, which has a running time with interval of around 2 hours and 45 minutes. A particular highlight of new songs and moments certainly has to be bringing back George’s old Nanny Miss Andrew with Brimstone and Treacle especially when Mary appears back as it felt like we had crossed over to Wicked with the green and pink lights going on! But a very powerful moment as well.

Rebecca Lock was certainly a standout performer as Winifred and had a great voice, I really did love the moments she got to have her time in the spotlight with a couple of songs and eventually standing up for herself, it was rather inspiring. Mrs Brill was another great character who certainly added the comic relief with the laughs and lighter moments to the show, taking away the serious edges it has.

The two young performers taking on the roles of Jane and Michael were pretty perfect as well. Really putting in great performances, with the singing and delivery of some great lines as well.

I really did love and enjoy how it is adapted for the stage and how it all fits together so nicely. We get a few different types of dance routines as well, including a more ballet style with the statues and then my personal favourite of tap dancing for step in time. It really is a special theatre experience which you should really try to see at some point. I would easily go back and see it again and again. After all a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down and it really is practically perfect in every way! We even get a rather creepy toys moment, which I really wasn’t expecting at all. But it still fits and works well with the points Poppins is trying to make.

So pleased I have eventually had the honour of seeing one of my all time favourite musicals on stage! Oh and I got a few things from the merchandise stand! Another post about that coming soon!!!

15 responses

  1. gibra9948

    Great review. Hoping to see this before it closes at the end of next week.

    October 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    • Caz

      It really is magical. I would even go and see it again!

      October 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

  2. Pingback: Theatre Merchandise: Mary Poppins | Let's Go To The Movies

  3. gibra9948

    Managed to get a matinee ticket for Sat 29th – virtually sold out for the rest of the run.

    October 20, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    • Caz

      Oh fantastic! The last day, I was very tempted to check for any left next week. With it being half-term I’m not working as late as normal each day.

      October 20, 2016 at 11:09 pm

  4. gibra9948

    I tried for the very last performance but as I expected no luck. I think there might be single tickets available for other than the final performance. Hope you manage to get one!

    October 21, 2016 at 3:32 am

    • Caz

      I might save money instead haha! Looking at catching Chicago again when it comes to Sunderland.

      October 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

  5. gibra9948

    So many good shows around at the moment. Hoping to catch a play or musical on my Christmas trip to London. Definitely looking forward to Mary Poppins though.

    October 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    • Caz

      I’ve got Nice Fish in December. I’m a big Mark rylance fan so really looking forward to seeing him on stage!

      October 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

  6. gibra9948

    What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in the company of Mary Poppins. This was the penultimate performance in Newcastle and arriving at the theatre I noticed there were some youngsters dressed up in their Halloween costumes. This added to the already ecstatic atmosphere of the sell out audience.
    So glad that I managed to get a ticket. As a fan of the 1964 film I wasn’t sure how I would react to this stage version. I needn’t have worried as this was a superb production and found myself engrossed from beginning to end. I loved the new musical numbers, the choreography and of course all the actors. Zizi Strallen and Matt Lee were particularly outstanding. Special mention must go to all the behind the scenes stage crew who ensured everything went without a hitch. I think this must have been one of the biggest shows the Theatre Royal has put on. A wonderful, magical three hours, which went over too quickly.
    I did buy a programme, but resisted the temptation to buy an umbrella! Great stuff.

    October 31, 2016 at 12:56 am

    • Caz

      So glad you enjoyed it as well, especially with being able to get a ticket! Isn’t the ending so special to see her fly all the way to the top of the Theatre! I really do think the Theatre Royal keep out doing themselves with the shows they manage to secure.

      October 31, 2016 at 7:18 am

  7. gibra9948

    The ending is certainly “jaw dropping”. Theatre productions nowadays have improved so much. I agree the Theatre Royal seems to be one of the leading theatres outside of London and now frequently gets the biggest shows. Think I’ll have to become a “friend”.
    I wonder how much the insurance cost for Zizi Strallen flying around the theatre.
    I’m sure Nice Fish with Mark Rylance will be excellent. I’m thinking I might try and see The Nutcracker (don’t laugh) when I’m in London. Never been to the London Coliseum; better get out my suit!

    November 1, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    • Caz

      Fantastic news about having Young Frankenstein in Newcastle along with Mel Brooks as well!

      I am so happy that Beautiful is going to be touring next year as well, knew it would be the perfect show for everyone to see across the country. I will certainly be tempted to catch it in Newcastle and Sunderland!

      November 5, 2016 at 9:06 am

  8. gibra9948

    Thanks for the news. Young Frankenstein UK premiere. Wow bit of a coup for the Theatre Royal. Just been looking at the Theatre Royal’s programme for next year – some tasty shows. Looks as though I might have to fit my holidays around some of the dates!

    I agree about Beautiful – will do well on a UK tour.

    Got tickets for my short trip to London in December: Nutcracker and Motown the Musical.

    November 5, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    • Caz

      That’s great news! So many shows to try and see again next year, no good for my bank balance!

      November 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

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