REVIEW: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins
New Plymouth Operatic Society
July 6 – July 22
TSB Showplace
Reviewed by Taryn Utiger

Mary Poppins captivates its audience in the most delightful way.

With a spoonful of sugar and a bucket load of fun, the New Plymouth Operatic Society delivers a charming musical, well deserving of the standing ovation it received on opening night.

The feel good and joyous show easily whisks adults back to their childhood, and children into the magical world of Cherry Tree Lane.

World renowned singer Bryony Williams is practically perfect in every way as Mary Poppins.  The exquisitely talented songbird captures the very essence of the title character, and does it with the voice of an angel.

Joined onstage by the skillful Simon Cannell as Bert, the pair dance and sing their way into the hearts of not only the audience, but also the children Jane and Michael Banks.

Played on opening night by Hannah Liggett and William Broadmore, the brother and sister team are a gorgeous highlight of the show.

The duo are as cute as a button, as mischievous as monkeys and as talented as could be. The roles of Jane and Michael Banks are shared throughout the season and Imogen Hodge and Charlie Betts are said to be just as fantastic.

As with any Operatic show, there are some great cameo roles – including Elicia Hitchcock as the highly entertaining Mrs Corry, a delightful little dog called Willoughby, and Jenny Bennett as the poignant Bird Woman.

The show is teeming with dozens of great dance numbers, with the spectacular Step in Time and the dazzling and vibrant Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious being the absolute stars.

One of the highlights is the onstage magic, including the moving sets, the charming projections, and the bottomless handbag of Mary Poppins. This magic was created by a superb technical and backstage team, who deserve to be congratulated for helping this show fly to new heights.

With a series of delightful costumes, and a superb live orchestra led by musical director Christopher Luke, this show is something director and choreographer Sara Brodie and her team should be proud of.

This magical production of Mary Poppins is a must-see for families these school holidays.