When several semi-trailers start rumbling down Little Bourke Street, carrying over 150 tonnes of equipment, you know that a major musical is bumping in to Her Majesty’s Theatre. For two weeks already, the crew has been engrossed in rigging hundreds of lights, flying scenery and sets, and installing speakers throughout the auditorium.
As you could only expect from Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions, Mary Poppins is a magical, visually spectacular production, and so it will take up to six weeks to completely fit out the theatre, ready for Mary to fly in!
In addition to the 50+ bump-in crew, front-of-house designers and unknown numbers toiling in scenery workshops in Melbourne and Adelaide, the cast are also working hard! They are now well into their rehearsals and getting a thorough workout before the show’s international director Richard Eyre arrives in Australia to oversee the final rehearsals. At a recent media call, the cast performed the show-stopper Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and left the media spellbound!
The anticipation is certainly growing around the theatre, and we’re so excited this musical smash hit is almost here. Make sure you get your tickets soon, so you too can be part of the anticipation for the next big show in town.
Verity Hunt-Ballard from Adelaide has won the most hotly contested role in Australian theatre and play the world’s best loved nanny in the world’s Supercalifragilistic musical, Mary Poppins.
The announcement comes after an exhaustive search and almost 1000 auditions around Australia and New Zealand to find someone ‘practically perfect’. Verity is currently performing in Jersey Boys as Frankie Valli’s lover, and will start rehearsals for Mary Poppins with the rest of the cast in May.
Co-producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh today said, “Verity gave a tremendous audition – witty, charming, self-assured, with her own impish sense of fun… (She) is indeed practically perfect in every way.” Thomas Shumacher added, “All the waiting has paid off – we have finally found the Mary that Australia deserves!”
Verity joins the all-star cast already announced for the Australian production: Matt Lee as Bert, Philip Quast as Mr George Banks, Marina Prior as Mrs Winifred Banks, Sally Anne Upton as Mrs Brill, Christopher Rickerby as Robertson Ay, Judi Connelli as Miss Andrew, David Henry as Admiral Boom, and Debra Byrne as The Bird Woman.
You can see the serious – and some not-so-serious – auditions at www.youtube.com
Anyone interested in auditioning for the role of Mary should contact their agent, or visit http://www.disney.com.au/marypoppins/#/casting/ for role requirements and more casting information.
The Australian Cast for Mary Poppins was announced overnight, with one notable exception! Who will play the lead role of Mary is still up in the air, and the search continues.
Speaking before the Los Angeles premiere of Mary Poppins, the co-producers Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher said their team had auditioned 20 possible Marys. “We have seen many talented people but not yet someone with the right chemistry,” Mackintosh said.
“We are willing to see anyone,” Schumacher said. “If anyone wants to send us a letter, or a CD or post a clip on YouTube, we will look at it.” The role, he said, was a little out of the ordinary. “If you think of Julie Andrews in the Disney movie you get an idea of what we’re looking for: a triple threat music theatre performer, someone with star quality, of course. But apart from singing and dancing and considerable acting ability, the role calls for that somewhat unconventional look, that elusive personality, that extra “magic” that connects with the audience and that is the essence of Mary Poppins.”
The all-star cast that has been announced include:
- Matt Lee as Bert
- Philip Quast as Mr George Banks
- Marina Prior as Mrs Winifred Banks
- Sally Anne Upton as Mrs Brill
- Christopher Rickerby as Robertson Ay
- Judi Connelli as Miss Andrew
- Debra Byrne as The Bird Woman
The children’s roles will be auditioned and announced next year.
Anyone interested in auditioning for the role of Mary in Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand should contact their agent, or visit http://www.disney.com.au/marypoppins/#/casting/ for role requirements and more casting information.
Tickets to Mary Poppins are now on sale through Ticketek! Ticket sales for pre-sale offers have already been through the roof, so make sure you’re among the first to see this highly anticipated production when it flies into HMT next July!
Mary Poppins is the world’s most magical musical. Based on the beloved books by Australia’s P.L. Travers and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins is produced by the legendary Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher for Disney Theatrical Productions. Since opening in London in 2004 and New York in 2006, Mary Poppins has already been seen by 4.2 million theatregoers worldwide and grossed over $US 333m. It has also earned several Tony and Olivier Award nominations.
Mary Poppins, the world’s most magical musical, is coming to HMT in July 2010.
The announcement was made on Monday 13 July, by Victorian Premier John Brumby, with a satellite link to Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher in New York. Mary Poppins will be the third major musical Cameron Mackintosh has brought to HMT – the first being the legendary Cats in 1988, and the second just two years ago with Louise Withers, Miss Saigon – marking Melbourne as Australia’s theatre capital, and The Maj as its premiere stage.
Based on the beloved books by Australia’s P.L. Travers and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins is produced by the legendary Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher for Disney Theatrical Productions. Since opening in London in 2004 and New York in 2006, Mary Poppins has already been seen by 4.2 million theatregoers worldwide and grossed over $US 333m. It has also earned several Tony and Olivier Award nominations.
Join the priority waitlist now for the opportunity to purchase tickets before they are released to the general public.