As a big fan of the 1964 Disney film – which I have watched many times both as a child and a parent – I have to admit to being a little apprehensive about seeing the stage production. How would it compare?
I needn’t have worried – this is its own thing entirely and Zizi Strallen as super nanny Mary who appears in Edwardian London to sort out the lives of the Banks family and Matt Lee as cheeky chappie chimney sweep Bert stamp their own mark on the roles made famous by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. In fact, their performances are pretty much practically perfect in every way.
The magnificent Sherman Brothers songs – Feed the Birds, Jolly Holiday, A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Let’s Go Fly a Kite et al – are delivered in style and there are a few new ones (by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe) which blend in seamlessly.
The choreography is slick and energetic and the visual effects are breathtaking. A truly magical experience for the whole family.
• To December 10. 4/5 stars