Friday, September 14

Mary Poppins starring Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp heading to London next Autumn

At last the news we have all been hoping for has been broken by Baz Bamigboye in today's Mail with  Cameron Mackintosh & Disney's  Mary Poppins heading to the  West End's Prince Edward Theatre (where  it originally opened in 2004) in Autumn 2019 after Disney's Aladdin  reportedly ends its run there on 31st August.

And it comes with perfect casting with  Zizi Strallen (currently starring in Strictly Ballroom) again playing  the iconic role of Mary Poppins which she played so well in the UK tour of the musical which ended in January 2017.

Charlie Stemp has been cast as Bert - which is a role I have always thought  he is perfect for -  following his award winning peformance as Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence in  Chichester and London and most recently wowing New York audiences playing opposite Bette Middler and Bernadette Peters in Hello Dolly! on Broadway as lovestruck Barnaby Tucker.

Cameron Mackintosh told Baz: ‘We’ll rebuild the show around both of them,’ with a creative team, including writer Julian Fellowes and songwriters George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (who wrote some new numbers), along with designer Bob Crowley, redesigned and re-staged the production when it toured the UK and globally.  And  more good news is that the West End production will be directed by film, theatre, television and opera director Sir Richard Eyre and choreographed by New Adventures Sir Matthew Bourne (who both worked on the 2004 show) with the excellent Stephen Mear as co-choreographer. 

MARY POPPINS is one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge from London or New York in recent years. Worldwide, the six productions of the show have grossed over $521 million, welcomed over 7 million guests and cumulatively run for over 12 years. The musical is the winner of 36 major theatre awards around the globe, including Tony, Olivier and Evening Standard awards.
It received its worldwide premiere in London at the Prince Edward Theatre  in December 2004 where it enjoyed a successful three year run followed by an extensive  acclaimed UK tour.

The much anticipated movie  Mary Poppins Returns starring Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda is due for release in the States on 19th December 2018/21st December in the UK. It  takes place in Depression-era London and follows a now-grown up Jane and Michael Banks, who are visited by  Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack (a lamplighter and former-apprentice of Bert played by Miranda) she  helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Cameron Mackintosh said: I'm thrilled to be bringing the internationally acclaimed new staging of Pamela Travers' magical stories back to London in the autumn of 2019, with Disney, featuring the dazzling talents of Zizi Strallen and Charlie Stemp as Mary and Bert. The original production, over 14 years ago, only played London and Broadway and subsequently was revised and continues to be staged around the world with phenomenal success. The recent UK tour, starring Zizi as Mary, broke box office records everywhere it played. It has been particularly gratifying that the stage musical with its brilliant script by Julian Fellowes and wonderful new score by Stiles and Drewe, complementing the Sherman Brothers' classic songs, has taken on its own magical life separate from the film, appealing to audiences of all ages and nationalities

 Tickets for Mary Poppins the Musical are set to go on sale January 2019.


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