Review: Mary Poppins @The Palace, Manchester

Anything can happen in the glorious world of Mary Poppins and in this magnificent production  at the Palace Theatre, virtually everything does.

MARY POPPINS -  Step In Time - Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins and the Company. Photo credit Johan Persson-min-min

Without giving too much away the Cameron Mackintosh extravaganza will take you to the heights of excitement and turn your world upside down.

P L Travers’ charming story, made famous by the memorable Disney film is brilliantly realised for the stage. Director Richard Eyre, demonstrates his mastery of misdirection to pull off some amazing effects ranging from the very simple but effective to the downright spectacular.

If anyone needs reminding of the story, it is a tale of a middle class family with a stuffy father, played by Milo Twomey, at the head focussed on his career at the bank and with little time for his unruly children. Then the magnificent Mary breezes into their lives and changes everything.

With the well remembered classic tunes and a few new ones, this show is guaranteed to delighted audiences young and old, with an exceptionally strong cast.

Zizi Strallen is indeed practically perfect in every way  as the magical Mary with Matt Lee pulling off an admirable performance as cheerful chimney sweep, Bert. Rebecca is superb as the long-suffering mother Winifred.

The two children played last night by Lewis Fernee and Lucy Simmons were excellent. But for me, it was Wendy Ferguson’s portrayal of the cook, Mrs Brill which shone brightest.


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