Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Magic Mary Flying High One Year on; TAKE 4 NIGHTS OUT AT THE THEATRE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Magic Mary Flying High One Year on; TAKE 4 NIGHTS OUT AT THE THEATRE

Article excerpt

MARY POPPINS Prince Edward Theatre, W1 (0870 850 9191).

Booking to October This dream of a musical, with that magic airborne nanny who rescues a middleclass Edwardian family from emotional fallout, is still flying high after more than a year in the West End. Scarlett Strallen has taken over nannying duties from Laura Michelle Kelly's Mary Poppins, and though she lacks her predecessor's air of mystery, does suitably emulate her stiff elegance and pert assurance.

Flashes of humour, flights of fantasy and beautiful vignettes contribute to the musical's serious attractions.

THE CRUCIBLE Gielgud, W1 (0870 950 0915). Until 17 June What a fresh, unnerving air of topicality Arthur Miller's allegoric masterpiece about the late 17th-century Salem witch-trials has achieved in our terrorist age, with its perversion of justice in Guantanamo Bay. The Crucible, conceived as an indictment of the McCarthyite smearcampaign against communists in the 1950s, still packs a mighty punch in Dominic Cooke's remarkable production, with Iain Glen giving the performance of his career as John Proctor. Feverishly exciting.

GUYS AND DOLLS Piccadilly, W1 (0870 060 0123).

Booking to September Daring casting choices have galvanised this revival of Frank Loesser's homage to old Broadway's gamblers, broads and soul-saving missionaries.

When Michael Grandage's production first opened last year, it seemed technically brilliant but oddly sterile.

Now, with convincing lead performances from former ballet star Adam Cooper, ex-chorus girl Kelly Price and a revelatory Neil Morrissey, it has gained in emotional depth, comic timing and that mystery ingredient: zing.

EMBERS Duke of York's, WC2 (0870 060 6623).

Until 24 June Here is that rarest of theatrical phenomenons, a classic novel (by Hungarian Sandor Marai), which in Christopher Hampton's adaptation makes a stronger impression on the stage than the page. …

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