Saturday 14th January 2017, so glad to be back at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay, for the final two performances of Mary Poppins, as it ends its Uk tour run tonight. This show has been so amazing, with every performance I’ve seen (all eighteen) just magnificent. It’s been a treat to watch such a happy, feel good musical in these cold, dark months, bringing a touch of sunlight back to everyday life.
For today’s matinee we have Violet Tucker as Jane Banks with Finley Miller as Michael Banks. The evening performance has Verity Biggs as Jane Banks and Lewis Furnee As Michael Banks.
I’ve covered quite a lot in my recent blogs, so today I just want to talk about what I love about this musical. One of the main reasons this show is so good is the incredible cast assembled for this production. Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) has been just outstanding throughout, as she just glides effortlessly around the stage. Her singing voice is phenomenal and just so beautiful to listen to. Matt Lee (Burt) has also been outstanding, with his quirky delivery and great dance routines, a perfect match for Zizi’s Mary.
I have also enjoyed the performances of all the child actors I’ve seen, playing Jane and Michael Banks. They have all been magnificent, playing their parts so well. As I’ve said before, the future of British theatre is in safe hands, as long as we continue to nurture these fabulous young actors.
I have to mention the superb voices of Rebecca Lock (Mrs Banks), Grainne Renihan (Bird Woman) and Penelope Woodman (Miss Andrew). I have thouroughly enjoyed listening to each of them sing so beautifully. I have tears in my eyes when I hear ‘Feed the Birds’, Zizi and Grainne, wow, so good. Another who has also impressed is Neil Roberts (Mr Banks), although I would have loved to hear him sing a few more times throughout the show, I really think he had such a great voice for the role.
The Enemble and Orchestra were superb, as they always are. The set and lighting designs were tremendous, (this has to be one of the best I’ve seen over the last 4 years), everything just fell into place from start to finish. I’ve also said this next statement a few times in my previous blogs, but I have to say this is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, in my short time as a regular theatre goer.
So many impressive scenes to mention. ‘Jolly Holiday’, with its bright colours and beautiful dance routine. ‘Spoonful of sugar’, fabulous song and on stage trickery, and the brilliant ‘Supercalifragilistic’ with again so much colour and an unforgettable dance routine. Finishing the act is ‘Playing the game’, yet another imaginative scene, full of colour and great costumes. And that’s just act one.
Act two brings the arrival and dismissal of the wonderful Miss Andrew into our midst, with the ‘Brimstone and treacle’, routines. Split between this is ‘lets go fly a kite’. Another stunning scene, bringing a tear to my eyes everytime, for being so simple yet beautiful, another one of my favourites. Leading to three of the best scenes in the show. ‘Step in time’ and ‘Anything can happen’with two fabulous songs comes some amazing dance routines and sets to die for. Of course who could forget the finale, which is beautifully set up, and so breathtaking to watch, a fitting end to a fabulous show. Which I think is one of the reasons I love these last three scenes, beautiful to listen to, magnificent to watch, the perfect blend of everything magical about the theatre.
Onto today’s final shows then, and as usual they were just outstanding. Top class entertainment so many times over. I love everything about this show, if I could wish to see a show more than I already have, this would be up there with them. Eighteen times is just not enough.