Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Poppins Magic Hits Stage

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Poppins Magic Hits Stage

Article excerpt

EYES of Melbournians throughout the southern capital will be averted to the sky over the next few weeks.

They won't be looking for the imminent arrival of aliens, it isn't a new building being erected, it isn't even an unusual cloud formation.

Instead they will be anticipating the arrival of an unassuming nanny who has been known to make her entrance via umbrella rather than the traditional options of plane, train and automobile. If you are Mary Poppins, that will never do.

The much-loved movie, which captured a generation in 1964 (and every generation since), has been lovingly converted into a stage spectacular by the biggest names in music theatre in the world.

It is produced by theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh, who is responsible for some of the greatest theatrical productions ever created, including Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Cats.

The production was co-directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, easily one of the most prolific choreographers in the world.

Between the two of them, they hold an enormous level of theatrical clout, and they have brought their masterpiece to Australia, opening on July 29 at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.

With the magic of Mary Poppins being one of the most enduring things about the story and the movie, the transfer of that magic from screen to stage was one of the most difficult things to create. But it worked and, despite decades of experience in the theatre, Mackintosh still gets a thrill from seeing that magic happen before his very eyes.

"The areas of Poppins that have been trickiest is the magic," he explained.

"To make magic on stage seem easy and not contrived is very difficult. It is often just simple moments, like suddenly a bunch of flowers appearing from a canvas.

"Or stuff coming out of a bag, mirrors and lights and potted palms and things like that. …

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