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Preview: Mary Poppins at Newcastle Theatre Royal

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Mary Poppins
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Friday 9th September – Saturday 29th October 2016

Someone magical is coming to Newcastle and the full cast has been announced for the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins which plays at the Theatre Royal this autumn.

Photo: Johan Persson
The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of Mary Poppinsis brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.

Photo: Johan Persson
Following his recent successes with Barnum and Oliver! at the Newcastle Theatre Royal, Cameron Mackintosh is returning with yet another favourite in Mary Poppins. He said: “It’s hard to believe that it is already 11 years since Mary Poppins first landed on the London stage.  My goodness……time flies even faster than our beloved Nanny!  I’m delighted to bring this wonderful musical to Newcastle after spreading its magic around the world.  Since we originally staged the production we have found even more magical ways to stage this timeless tale and I’m sure you will find our new Mary practically perfect in every way”.

Photo: Johan Persson
The stage production stars Zizi Strallen as ‘Mary Poppins’; Matt Lee as ‘Bert’; Neil Roberts as ‘George Banks’; Rebecca Lock as ‘Winifred Banks’; Penelope Woodman as ‘Miss Andrew’; Wendy Ferguson as ‘Mrs Brill’; Grainne Renihan as ‘Bird Woman’ and Blair Anderson as ‘Robertson Ay’.

Photo: Johan Persson
They are joined by Yves Adang; Abby Bebbington; Greg Bernstein; Jabari Braham; Matthew Caputo; Sophie Caton; Jennifer Davison; Lisa Dent; Joe Dockree; Maria Garrett; Hannah Grace; Graham Hoadly; Thomas-Lee Kidd; Antony Lawrence; Adam Margilewski; Anu Ogunmefun; Ben Oliver; Claire Parrish; Edwin Ray; Jo Lucy Rackham; Adam Rhys-Charles; Sam Salter; John Stacey; Christine Tucker; Alexandra Waite-Roberts; Wreh-Asha Walton and Scott Waugh.

Photo: Johan Persson
Zizi Strallen most recently starred as ‘Lana’ in Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man. Her previous West Endcredits include: Cats; the multi award-winning Merrily We Roll Along; Rock of Ages; Dirty Dancing; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matthew Bourne’s Cinderellaat Sadler’s Wells. 
Photo: Johan Persson
Matt Lee, one of Australia’s premier “song and dance men”, played the role of ‘Bert’ in Mary Poppins in the hugely successful Australian production of the show, his portrayal winning him the prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Photo: Johan Persson
Neil Roberts most recently appeared as Harry in Mamma Mia! at both the Prince of Wales and Novello Theatres in the West End. Rebecca Lock has most recently appeared as ‘Rosie’ in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre.
Photo: Johan Persson
Penelope Woodman’s recent theatre credits include: Sons of the Desert at the Royal Court Theatre Liverpool; the UK tour of Birds of a Feather; Mamma Mia! both at the Prince of Wales Theatre and on international tour, and the UK tour of Never Forget. Wendy Ferguson most recently played the role of ‘Madame Thenardier’ in Les Misérables at the Queens Theatre.   
Photo: Johan Persson
Grainne Renihan’s theatre credits include: ‘Grizabella’ in Cats on UK Tour and in Hamburg; ‘Fantine’ in Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre; ‘Florence’ in Chessat the Prince Edward Theatre; ‘Guilietta’ in Aspects of Love at the Prince of Wales Theatre; ‘Ellen’ in Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and ‘Mary Magdalene’ in the European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Photo: Johan Persson
Blair Anderson’s recent theatre credits include If the Lights Are Too Bright at the Ovalhouse Theatre; In Lambeth at the Southwark Playhouse, the Singapore tour of Seussicaland the UK tour of Blockbuster The Musical.

Photo: Johan Persson
The stage production of Mary Poppins is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes. It has a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.

The internationally renowned and multi award-winning creative team assembled for Mary Poppins is led by stage and film director Richard Eyre. Co-direction and choreography is by Matthew Bourne, with co-choreography by Stephen Mear. Set and costume design is by Bob Crowley with lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Paul Groothuis and orchestrations by William David Brohn. The international tour of Mary Poppins is directed by James Powell with original choreography adapted by Geoffrey Garratt. Musical supervision is by Stephen Brooker.

Mary Poppins plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Friday 9th September –
Saturday 29th October 2016. Tickets are from £22.50 and can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge).

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