9 March to 23 April 2016
Reviewed by Catherine Brown
The Mary Poppins tour has arrived at Birmingham Hippodrome and my visit on Tuesday 15th March was as enjoyable as I hoped it would be. With the Disney film being a favourite during my childhood, the plot and characters were already familiar and the stage version maintained the magic.
The story starts with brother and sister Jane and Michael Banks who are very much out of control and causing havoc for any nanny who attempts to tame them. Along comes Mary Poppins, played by the enchanting Zizi Strallen, who introduces them to manners through fun and adventure. The children soon become more thoughtful while Mr Banks starts to soften his approach to his family.
The actors are supported by vibrant costumes and scenery including delightful projections of birds being fed in the park. Fans of the film will recognise the original Sherman brothers songs such as ‘A spoonful of sugar’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpealidocous’ although there are some new additions which fit in well. The energy of the cast is fantastic, my favourite part involved tap dancing chimney sweep Bert, played by Matt Lee, although a scene in the park involving the statues came a close second.
There was also plenty of humour from cook and housekeeper Mrs Brill, and illusion in the part of Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag. The audience were laughing and cheering throughout – it was obvious everyone on and off stage was having a good time.
The theatre is easy to get, we parked at the Arcadian car park nearby which offers an after 5pm theatre ticket. The staff at the Hippodrome were very helpful and friendly. There was a good range of drinks, sweets and ice cream available at the interval along with lots of Mary Poppins merchandise. The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room and there were plenty of clean toilets which avoided the chance of large queues.
I would recommend this show to audiences of all ages, definitely worthy of a 5 out of 5 rating. I was captivated by the magic and left the theatre with a smile on my face and a yearning to go and fly a kite with my two boys – something I will definitely be doing this weekend!
Tickets cost from £25 (booking fees may apply).
Mary Poppins is at the Birmingham Hippodrome until 23 April 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 338 5000.
Birmingham Hippodrome, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB | 0844 338 5000