Mary Poppins (UK Tour) 

Curve Theatre, Leicester

Reviewed on Friday 16th October

★★★★★


Going to the theatre is possibly up there in my list of favourite things to do at the weekend, especially when a significant and very exciting production lands on your doorstep in your local theatre. Since I can remember Mary Poppins has been my much loved Disney film of mine, the famous nanny who flew in with the never-ending handbag by her side and vocabularly like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to get your tongue is a twist so when I heard that the first stop for the Mary Poppins touring production was at the Curve in Leicester I knew I had to go and experience the magical world for myself.

It's crazy to believe it's been over half a decade since Mary Poppins was last seen on stage in the UK;
Having seen the production when it ran on the West End it was an unforgettable musical that I knew I had to grasp the tickets. My only issue with these kind of musicals is that whether it'll fully represent the magic that Disney has and do it justice?! It's basically like that book to movie change that can sometimes be a relief or just damn annoying! I was also curious whether to see whether the magic that I saw on the west end would come alive on a different stage in a different theatre.

The musical based on the much loved P.L.Travers book series, the production is adapted from the even more loved 1964 Disney film, that starred the wonderful Julie Andrews as Mary herself and Dick Van Dyke as Burt. You can imagine how big the boots are to fill for this touring cast..

Zizi Strallen leads the cast as Mary Poppins, following in her footsteps of her sisters Scarlett and Summer who also grace the boards of the stage too. Her elder sister Scarlett has also undertook the role as Mary Poppins in the past too. Zizi has appeared in various shows over the years but Mary is possibly her biggest role to date and she does it with such justice and professionalism, she brings Mary Poppins to life!

The set for the touring production is actually of high standard for this form of work, however at parts some of it became distracting especially when Bert caught his costume on a chimney, not something you see everyday! There are various tricks and illusions involved in the show, including iconic flying scenes that highlight the true magic of theatre. The ensemble completely grasped us all with the big company numbers, 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' and 'Step in Time'. Big applauses to the choreography of Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear (Stephen went to my dance school growing up and was taught by the same teacher as I was!).

Bert is always my favourite Mary Poppins character and Matt Lee perfects the Bert that we all loved in the film. His incredible tap dancing in 'Step in Time' made me want to run home and grab my tap shoes quickly in order to dance along with him.

The one part of the musical with distracted and made me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable was when Jane and Michael's toys transformed into live performers, I just found it slightly creepy and couldn't understand it very much.

Cameron Mackintosh must certainly give himself a massive pat on the back, you couldn't go wrong with Mary Poppins. It is a really exciting, well choreographed musical which allows to capture the imagination of the audience young or old. It was so good to see it back onstage after so many years and I really hope other people around the UK get to enjoy it as much as I do!

Mary Poppins really was practically perfect in every way.

thanks for reading,