Monday, December 17, 2007

Class act

I'll resist the temptation to say that it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But make no mistake. Mary Poppins at London's Prince Edward Theatre was indeed a truly first-class show.

If there's one thing that the Brits can still do better than anyone else in the world, it's a stage musical. OK, maybe you get the same standard of production on Broadway. But my hunch is that London still manages to pip everyone else at the post.

The thing that really took me aback was the elaborate nature of the staging and special effects. The "Director of Illusions" had previously worked for people like David Copperfield and it really showed. Another unexpected plus point was the quality of the new songs. They kept the old Sherman Brother standards (although rewrote quite a lot of the words) and then penned some new tunes of their own. My heart kind of sunk when I heard about this in advance, but I was pleasantly surprised on the day. The new material was of a high calibre and entirely in keeping with the foot-tappers of yesteryear.

Only a few weeks of the run left, but I think there are some tickets available, so if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

The kids quite liked it too. Except they frowned on the deviations from the 1960s Disney movie. And kept looking for strings.

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