Tuesday 27th December 2016, after the Christmas break I’m back at the Centre here in Cardiff Bay, for two more performances of the brilliant Mary Poppins. Another show I could watch time after time and never get bored with, it’s just perfect.
For today’s matinee we have Verity Biggs playing Jane Banks and Lewis Furnee as Michael Banks. For the evening performance Violet Tucker is Jane Banks and Finley Miller plays Michael Banks. Again both pairs are absolutely excellent in their respective roles.
Today I’d like to talk about the songs in the show. I’ll start with act one today and move onto act two on my next visit. As the orchestra begins we have a medley of songs sung by Bert with the Banks family and servants. A great start to the show getting you in the mood for proceedings to come. As we meet Mary, the first song we hear from the brilliant Zizi Strallen is ‘Practically Perfect’,beautifully sung with the help of the Banks children. Zizi has such an amazing voice, probably the best I’ve heard in all the recordings of this musical.
As the show moves on we get to the brilliant park scene and ‘Jolly Holiday (with Mary)’. With the help of the ensemble, this scene is brought to life, with fabulous singing and dancing throughout. Beautiful voices soar through this wonderful auditorium, to rapturous applause as the scene ends.
Zizi carries on with her absolutely magnificent voice in ‘A spoonful of sugar’,with help from the children and servants, and also the superb voice of Rebecca Lock (Mrs Banks), at the end of the scene. Another iconic song, sung perfectly by all, to huge appreciation from a packed audience. Moving onto ‘Precision and order’, sung by the ensemble, again in great voice, as the ensemble have done, during the whole show.
Then onto one of my favourite songs, that usually brings a tear to my eyes. ‘Feed the birds’, with the fabulous Grainne Renihan and Zizi Strallen. Both of them have tremendous voices, and sing this piece better than I’ve ever heard before. How they manage not to shed a tear themselves, at the sheer beauty of this song is beyond my comprehension. So beautifully sung.
Nearing the end of act one, comes another iconic tune. ‘Supercalifragistic’, sung by most of the cast, is just so brilliant.The whole production of this song is amazing, with fabulous singing from all, and a magnificently choreographed set to go with it, Sheer joy. Moving swiftly to ‘Playing the game’, where all the toys come to life to make the children treat them better. Another brilliant scene, with such good choreography and wonderful singing by some of the ensemble,it takes us nicely to end of act one,when Burt (Matt Lee) gives us a great taste of ‘Chim chim Cher-ee’, as Mary Poppins flies off stage, so ending act one.
An amazing first act, with brilliant singing from all the cast, to some fine, iconic songs, that most people know and love. Songs from act two on my next visit. Both shows today were absolutely fabulous, as usual.