Photo credit: Mary Poppins (Photo courtesy of Mary Poppins)

Everything you need to know about ‘Mary Poppins’ in London

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

We all wish we could have had a nanny like Mary Poppins. The nanny conjures up magic moments and a seemingly endless assortment of knick-knacks from her bag — the Banks children are in good hands with Mary Poppins looking after them! The Disney film was first adapted into a musical in the 2000s, and after a decade away from London, Mary Poppins is back at the Prince Edward Theatre. Mary Poppins is a supercalifragilistic musical that you can't miss in the West End.

Before seeing Mary Poppins in London, here's everything you need to know about Mary Poppins.

Book Mary Poppins tickets on London Theatre.

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What is Mary Poppins about?

Jane and Michael Banks need a new nanny. Inviting dozens of nannies to their house on Cherry Tree Lane, none of them are the perfect fit. That's until Mary Poppins comes along, flying on her umbrella and immediately making everything spick and span. With the help of jack-of-all-trades Bert, the foursome go on a whole host of unbelievable adventures, stepping into paintings and breathing life into the world around them.

Is Mary Poppins based on a true story?

Although the Mary Poppins story is fictional, the Mary Poppins character was popularised thanks to the 1964 Disney film starring Julie Andrews. But, did you know the nanny was brought to life in a collection of short stories by P. L. Travers, which were first published in 1926.

When did Mary Poppins premiere?

The Mary Poppins took place at Bristol Hippodrome, with performances from 15 Sept. - 6 Nov. 2004. A month after its regional run, the West End premiere of Mary Poppins opened at the Prince Edward Theatre from 15 Dec. 2004, where it ran for over three years to Jan. 12, 2008.

Nearly two years after the London production, the Broadway premiere of Mary Poppins opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre from 16 Oct. 2006, with West End cast members reprising their acclaimed performances in New York. Mary Poppins ran for longer than its West End original, closing on 3 Mar. 2013.

The West End revival of Mary Poppins began performances at the Prince Edward Theatre from 23 Oct. 2019. Mary Poppins will play its final West End performance on 8 Jan. 2023.

Who wrote Mary Poppins?

The Mary Poppins book is written by Julian Fellowes, an English actor and screenwriter. He's also written stories for musicals including The Wind in the Willows, Half a Sixpence and School of Rock. For television, he's penned Downton Abbey and Belgravia.

Music and lyrics are by the Sherman Brothers, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The Sherman Brothers have previously written the score for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, while Stiles and Drewe are the composing masterminds behind Betty Blue Eyes and Soho Cinders.

Who is in the cast of Mary Poppins?

Zizi Strallen plays Mary Poppins, reprising the role from a national touring production of Mary Poppins. She's previously been in Strictly Ballroom at the Piccadilly Theatre, Follies at the National Theatre and gave an award-winning performance as Lana in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man. Charlie Stemp returns to Mary Poppins as Bert.

Petula Clark plays the Bird Woman, best known for her Grammy Award-winning song "Downtown". The full cast is completed by Charlie Anson as George Banks, Amy Griffiths as Winifred Banks, Liz Robertson as Miss Andrew, Claire Machin as Mrs Brill, Jack North as Robertson Ay and Paul F. Monaghan as Admiral Boom and Bank Chairman.

Mila Carlton-Paterson, Sophie Hartley-Booth, Arabella McDermott, Alex Munden and Molly Pearson alternate the role of Jane Banks. Cian Eagle-Service, George Hamblin, Oscar Noble, Sebastian Selwood and Joseph Sharpe alternate the role of Michael Banks.

Alistair Beattie, Lydia Boulton, Sam Brown, Stan Doughty, Mark Goldthorp, Peter Houston, Jacqueline Hughes, Jason Kajdi, Francesca Lara Gordon, Chloe Macgregor, Kris Manuel, Tania Mathurin, Robbie McMillan, Laura Medforth, Beatrice Penny-Touré, Alex Pinder, Johnny Randall, Christine Tucker, Scott Waugh and Taela Yeomans-Brown, Yves Adang, Danielle Delys, Joseph Dockree, Charlie Donnelly, Lyndsey Gardiner, Hannah-Faith Marram, Joe Press and Ben Redfern complete the Mary Poppins ensemble.

What theatre in London is Mary Poppins playing at?

Mary Poppins is currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre. Named after Edward VIII, it's been a casino, a cinema and cabaret hall. Previous shows at the Prince Edward Theatre include Aladdin, Miss Saigon and Jersey Boys.

What is the running time of Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins has a running time of 2 hours and 50 minutes, including a 15 minute interval.

What are the songs in Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins features music from the 1964 Disney film, including "Jolly Holliday", "A Spoonful of Sugar" and "Let's Go Fly A Kite". There's also original songs created especially for the musical too. Here's all the songs in Mary Poppins.

Act 1

"Chim Chim Cher-ee" - Bert
"Cherry Tree Lane" (Part 1) - George, Winifred, Jane, Michael, Mrs. Brill, Robertson Ay, Katie Nanna, Bert, Admiral Boom, Mrs. Lark
"The Perfect Nanny" - Jane, Michael
"Cherry Tree Lane" (Part 2) - George, Winifred, Jane, Michael, Mrs. Brill, Robertson Ay
"Practically Perfect" - Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael
Jolly Holiday" - Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Neleus, Statues, Parkgoers "Cherry Tree Lane" (Reprise) - George
"Being Mrs. Banks" - Winifred
"Jolly Holiday" (Reprise) - Jane and Michael
"A Spoonful of Sugar" - Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Robertson Ay, and Winifred
"Feed the Birds" - Bird Woman and Mary Poppins
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" - Mary Poppins, Mrs. Corry, Bert, Jane, Michael, Annie, Fannie, Spellers
"Playing the Game" - Mary Poppins, Valentine, Ensemble
"Chim Chim Cher-ee" (Reprise) - Bert and Mary Poppins

Act 2

"Brimstone and Treacle" (Part 1) - Miss Andrew
"Let's Go Fly a Kite" - Bert, Park Keeper, Jane, Michael, Park-goers
"Good for Nothing" - George
"Being Mrs. Banks" (Reprise) - Winifred
"Brimstone and Treacle" (Part 2) - Mary Poppins and Miss Andrew
"Step in Time" - Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Sweeps
"A Man Has Dreams" (Reprise) - George
"A Spoonful of Sugar" (Reprise) - George and Bert
"Anything Can Happen" (Part 1) - Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Winifred
"Anything Can Happen" (Part 2) - Mary, Bert, Jane, Michael, Company
"A Spoonful of Sugar" (Reprise 2) - Mary Poppins
"A Shooting Star" - Orchestra

What awards has Mary Poppins won?

The 2019 revival of Mary Poppins was nominated for six Olivier Awards, winning two. Find out more about Mary Poppins at the 2020 Olivier Awards below.

Best Theatre Choreographer - Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear
Best Set Design - Bob Crowley

How do I get tickets for Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins is currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre. But you'll want to be quick and snappy with Mary Poppins tickets. The show closes on 8 Jan. 2023.

Book Mary Poppins tickets on London Theatre.

LT - CTA - 250

Photo credit: Mary Poppins (Photo courtesy of Mary Poppins)

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