Mary Poppins
London promotional poster
BookJulian Fellowes
BasisMary Poppins
by P. L. Travers
Mary Poppins
by Bill Walsh
Don DaGradi

Mary Poppins is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (the Sherman Brothers) and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a book by Julian Fellowes. The musical is based on the similarly titled Mary Poppins children's books by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film, and is a fusion of various elements from the two, including songs from the film.

Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions and directed by Richard Eyre with co-direction from Matthew Bourne who also acted as co-choreographer with Stephen Mear, the original West End production opened in December 2004 and won two Olivier Awards, one for Best Actress in a Musical and the other for Best Theatre Choreographer. A Broadway production with a near-identical creative team opened in November 2006, with only minor changes from the West End version. It received seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical, and won for Best Scenic Design in a Musical. The original Broadway production closed in March 2013, after 2,619 performances. Touring and international productions followed.

The musical has become a popular choice for schools and community theatres to produce.[1]


In 1993, theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh met P. L. Travers and acquired the rights to develop a stage play adaptation of her Mary Poppins books. She only agreed to a stage production as long as the creators were all English, and no one who had worked on the Disney film adaptation. She died in 1996. In 2001, Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney Theatrical Productions, opened talks on a possible collaboration, so that the stage play would be able to use the songs from the Disney film. With both sides committed, a preliminary outline of the show was written in 2002.[2]

Around this time, songwriters George Stiles and Anthony Drewe heard about the project, and independently wrote a demo version of a new introductory song for the character of Mary, titled "Practically Perfect". They submitted the song to Mackintosh, and due to his positive response, were officially brought on to the creative team. Julian Fellowes was brought on to write the show's script because of his "clear understanding of the social niceties of the English class system that prevailed in the Edwardian era".[2]

An experienced production team was assembled, including Sir Richard Eyre, multi award-winning director of film, theatre and opera; and Bob Crowley, a theatre designer who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera. Crowley also has six Tony Awards for various Broadway productions.

A workshop of the show was held at the end of 2003 at the rehearsal room at London's Old Vic Theatre, using the cast of My Fair Lady, which had just closed in the West End.[2] After four weeks of rehearsals at Sadler's Wells, the production moved to Bristol, where an out-of-town tryout opened at the Bristol Hippodrome on September 15, 2004.


Original West End production

Prince Edward Theatre 2005

Cameron Mackintosh's stage adaptation of Mary Poppins had its world premiere at the Bristol Hippodrome starting with previews from September 15, 2004, before officially opening on September 18 for a limited engagement until November 6. The production then moved to the Prince Edward Theatre on December 15, 2004, making it the only Disney musical to have premiered in the UK. The role of Mary was played by Laura Michelle Kelly, who subsequently won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role, and the role of Bert was played by Gavin Lee. Notable replacements included Scarlett Strallen, Lisa O'Hare and Caroline Sheen as Mary Poppins and Gavin Creel as Bert (from July 2006).[3]

The show sparked mild controversy not long after its debut when producers Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher banned children below three years old from entering the theatre, deeming the show too scary for young children.[4] The ban remained throughout the show's entire run, during which the theatre staff were to prevent patrons with children below three to enter. The show was officially tagged as being "for children seven years and up".

On March 17, 2005, Julie Andrews, who played Mary Poppins in the film, visited the show as a guest. She appeared onstage during the curtain calls, where she gave a speech recalling her own memories from making the film and praising the cast for their new interpretation.[5] The production closed on January 12, 2008, after a run of more than three years.[6]

Original Broadway production

New Amsterdam Theatre showing Mary Poppins, 2007

Following the success of the West End production, a Broadway production debuted on November 16, 2006, at the New Amsterdam Theatre after previews from October 14.[7] Ashley Brown played the title role, and Gavin Lee, who had originated the role of Bert in the West End production, reprised his role on Broadway. Daniel Jenkins played George Banks, Rebecca Luker was Winifred, and Matthew Gumley and Henry Hodges played Michael. Starting on 9 October 2008, the role of Mary was played by Scarlett Strallen (reprising her role from the West End production) and Bert was played by Adam Fiorentino. Laura Michelle Kelly, who originated the role of Mary in London, took over the role on Broadway on October 12, 2009. Christian Borle joined the cast the same day as Bert.[8] Nicolas Dromard played Bert from July 16 to August 22, 2010.[9] Lee returned to the role of Bert on August 24, 2010, and was reunited with former London co-star, Kelly.[10] Brown returned to the title role from March 8 to July 17, 2011, while Kelly was away filming a movie, reuniting her with Lee, and Kelly returned to role on July 19, 2011.[11]

The Broadway production differed from the London production in that the "Jolly Holiday" sequence was staged in full technicolor instead of the gray tones of the London show, and in "Anything Can Happen" the stairs to the heavens were replaced by a giant version of Mary's umbrella entering from the stage floor. These changes were later transferred back to the West End production. Most recently, a new song has been added to the score, titled "Playing the Game". This replaces the already new "Temper, Temper" in the first act. This change has been added to all current and future productions of the show.[citation needed]

The Broadway production received generally positive reviews, ranging from enthusiastic[12] to lukewarm.[13] Many critics praised the show for its technical merits.[14][15] After running 52 weeks, the show recouped its original investment.[16]

The production closed on March 3, 2013, after more than six years and 2,619 performances on Broadway, to make way for Disney's Aladdin.[17] The closing cast included Steffanie Leigh as Mary and Dromard as Bert.[18][19] As of April 2022, it remains Broadway's twenty-fourth longest-running show.[20]

National tours

For the touring productions of the show, designer Bob Crowley changed the sets, making the Banks' Household smaller in size, and deleting numerous intermediate scenes, so that smaller theatres could accommodate the large-scale demands of the production.

A UK tour of the London production commenced on June 4, 2008, and ended on April 18, 2009, with stops at venues including the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Edinburgh Playhouse, and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.[21] Its cast featured Caroline Sheen as Mary Poppins, Daniel Crossley as Bert, Martin Ball as George Banks and Louise Bowden as Winifred Banks.[22] Lisa O'Hare took over the role of Mary on October 27, 2008. The UK Tour became the show's last production to include "Temper, Temper" before it was replaced by "Playing the Game" in future productions.

A United States tour began previews on March 11, 2009, with the opening night on March 25, featuring Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee reprising their roles as Mary and Bert, respectively.[23][24] The tour began at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, and played in many U.S. cities. On November 15, 2009, during the opening night in Los Angeles, Dick Van Dyke (who played Bert in the film) appeared onstage during the encore.[25] On January 22, 2010, to raise funds for a local charity and as part of a D23 event, Van Dyke did a cameo of his other role from the original film of Mr. Dawes Sr.[26] In 2009, the song "Temper, Temper" was cut and replaced by a new musical number, titled "Playing the Game."[27] Sheen took over the role of Mary from Brown in February 2010 in Tempe, Arizona and played the role until February 2011. Nicolas Dromard, who previously understudied the role of Bert on Broadway, took over the role from September 2010 until September 2011.[9] Steffanie Leigh joined the cast as Mary Poppins on February 8, 2011[28] and was replaced on December 6, 2011, by Megan Osterhaus who had played Winifred Banks on Broadway and later returned to Broadway as Winifred.[29] The U.S. National tour played its last performance on June 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska.[citation needed]

A new UK tour directed by Richard Eyre began a run at the Curve Theatre, Leicester from October 13 until October 25, 2015 starring Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins and Matt Lee reprising his original role in the Australian production as Bert.[30] The tour then visited Bristol (29 October - 28 November 2015), Dublin (3 December 2015 - 9 January 2016), Manchester (20 January - 5 March 2016), Birmingham (9 March - 23 April 2016), Edinburgh (27 April - 21 May 2016), Southampton (25 May - 19 June 2016).[31] In November 2015, more dates were added including Norwich (29 June - 30 July 2016), Plymouth (3 August - 3 September 2016), Newcastle (8 September - 29 October 2016), Bradford (2 November - 10 December 2016) and finishing in Cardiff (14 December 2016 - 14 January 2017).[32]

On the 7 March 2024 a new UK tour was announced, opening at the Bristol Hippodrome on the 4 November, before heading to Dublin, Edinburgh, Plymouth and Manchester, with further venues to announced. The opening of the new tour in Bristol will mark 20 years since the show started out of town previews before transferring to the West End. With co-direction by Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne and co-choreography by Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear. Reimagined set and costume design by Bob Crowley, and again the production co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatrical Productions. Casing includes Stefaine Jones as Mary and Jack Chambers as Bert, reprising their roles from the Sydney 2022 production with further casting to be announced. [33]

2019 West End revival (2019-2023)

A West End revival began previews on October 23, 2019 at the Prince Edward Theatre and officially opened on November 13. The cast included Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins (reprising her role from the 2015-16 UK Tour), Charlie Stemp as Bert, Joseph Millson as George Banks, Amy Griffiths as Winifred Banks, Petula Clark as the Bird Woman, Claire Moore as Miss Andrew, and Paul F. Monaghan as Admiral Boom (Barry James was originally due to play this part but he left before the first preview for unknown reasons).[34][35] The show was forced to close temporarily from March 16, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened on August 7, 2021 at the Prince Edward Theatre with most of the same cast returning.[36] On June 22, 2022 Louis Gaunt temporarily took over from Charlie Stemp whilst he performed in the revival of Crazy For You at the Chichester Festival Theatre.[37] The show played its final West End performance on January 8, 2023.[38]

International productions

Mary Poppins has been played in Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States, and has been translated into thirteen languages (Swedish, Finnish, Hungarian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Estonian, Spanish, Icelandic, German, Norwegian, Italian, and Japanese). Over eleven million people have seen the show worldwide.

The first foreign-language production opened on October 18, 2008 at the Gothenburg opera house, where it ran until March 14, 2009.[39] This production was externally licensed by Disney Theatrical and performed entirely in Swedish, with the book translated by Magnus Lindman. The musical director was Björn Dobbelaere, with actors Linda Olsson as Mary and Magnus Borén as Bert.

Other European productions include:

The Australian production began previews at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne on 14 July 2010, officially on 29 July. The cast included Matt Lee as Bert, Philip Quast as Mr. Banks, Marina Prior as Winifred Banks, Debra Byrne as The Bird Woman, and Judi Connelli as Miss Andrew. Verity Hunt-Ballard was awarded the role of Mary Poppins late in the casting stage, after a long search.[49] She was temporarily replaced towards the end of the Sydney run by Scarlett Strallen, who had starred in the role in both the West End and Broadway productions. An Australian Cast Recording was released on February 18, 2011.[50] The Melbourne season closed on April 1, 2011.[51] The musical played in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre from April 2011[52] to mid December 2011.[53] The musical then went on an Australian tour, playing at the Lyric Theatre in Brisbane until March 2012 and the Burswood Theatre, Perth until June 2012. After a four-month break, the production opened at the Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, from 18 October[54] until 30 December 2012. In May 2021, it was announced the show would return to Australia in May 2022 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with a nation-wide search to find a new Mary Poppins.[55]

From November 14, 2012 to August 11, 2013, the first Spanish-language version of the show ran at the Centro Cultural in Mexico City, produced by Ocesa Teatro and starring Bianca Marroquin as Mary and Mauricio Salas as Bert.[56]

In April 2015 Brazilian entertainment company Time for Fun opened auditions for the Portuguese-language premiere in São Paulo, but eventually the production was cancelled.[57]

The first Japanese language production opened on March 25, 2018 in Tokyo before moving to Osaka in May 2018.[58]

Casting history

Character West End Broadway First UK Tour US National Tour Melbourne Second UK Tour First West End Revival Sydney
2004 2006 2008 2009 2010 2015 2019 2022
Mary Poppins Laura Michelle Kelly Ashley Brown Caroline Sheen Ashley Brown Verity Hunt-Ballard Zizi Strallen Stefanie Jones
Bert Gavin Lee Daniel Crossley Gavin Lee Matt Lee Charlie Stemp Jack Chambers
George Banks David Haig Daniel Jenkins Martin Ball Karl Kenzler Philip Quast Milo Twomey Joseph Millson Tom Wren
Winifred Banks Linzi Hateley Rebecca Luker Louise Bowden Megan Osterhaus Marina Prior Rebecca Lock Amy Griffiths Lucy Maunder
Jane Banks Nicola Bowman
Carrie Hope Fletcher
Poppy Lee Friar
Charlotte Spencer
Faye Spittlehouse
Katherine Doherty
Delaney Moro
Kathryn Faughnan
Maddy Allison
Liberty Cheesman
Niamh Coombes
Chloe Jones
Molly Phillips
Isabella Sedgwick
Abigail Droeger
Aida Neitenbach
Kirrilee Berger
Victoria Borcsok
Hayley Edwards
Zoe Gousmett
Scout Hook
Sara Reed
Felicity Biggs
Verity Biggs
Violet Tucker
Maia West
Lottie Sicilia
Adelaide Barham
Imogen Bourn
Charlotte Breen
Ellie Kit Jones
Nuala Peberdy
Harriet Alder
Chloe Delle-Vedove
Mia Honeysett
Siena Kann
Amara Kavaliku
Michael Banks Jake Catterall
Perry Millward
Jack Montgomery
Harry Stott
Ben Watton
Matthew Gumley
Henry Hodges
Alexander Scheitinger
Charlie Callaghan
Tyler Fagan
Thomas Goodall
Max Griesbach
William Pearce
George Spittle-McGuire
Justin Hall
Christopher Flaim
Bryce Baldwin
Mark Balas
Callum Hawthorne
Trent Heath
Kade Hughes
Kurtis Papadinis
Diego Sanna
Louis Fernee
Finley Miller
Cameron Lant
Regan Garcia
Joseph Duffy
Samuel Newby
Gabriel Payne
Edward Walton
Fred Wilcox
Xavier Daher
Ben Stabile
William Steiner
Finn Walsham
Saxon Weaver
Miss Andrew Rosemary Ashe Ruth Gottschall Deryn Edwards Ellen Harvey Judi Connelli Penelope Woodman Claire Moore Chelsea Plumley
Bird Woman Julia Sutton Cass Morgan Valda Aviks Mary Van Arsdel Debra Byrne Grainne Renihan Petula Clark Nancye Hayes
Mrs. Brill Jenny Galloway Jane Carr Shirley Jameson Valerie Boyle Sally Anne Upton Wendy Ferguson Claire Machin Hannah Waterman
Robertson Ay Gerard Carey Mark Price Mark Anderson Andrew Keenan-Bolger Christopher Rickerby Blair Anderson Jack North Gareth Isaac
Mrs. Corry Melanie La Barrie Janelle Anne Robinson Tania Mathurin Q. Smith Leah Howard Wreh-Asha Walton Malinda Parris Cherine Peck
Park Keeper Kevin Williams Nick Corley Kraig Thornber Tom Souhrada Jack Webster Anthony Lawrence Mark Goldthorp Stephen Anderson
Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman Ian Murford Michael McCarty Ronald Markham Mike O'Carroll David Henry Graham Hoadly Paul F. Monaghan Robert Grubb
Miss. Lark Claire Machin Ann Arvia Laura Medforth Wendy James Anna-Lee Robertson Sophie Caton Celi O'Connor Lisa Sontag
Neleus Stuart Neal Brian Letendre Stuart Winter Brian Letendre Mitch Fistrovic Yves Adang Joshua Denyer Kade Hughes
Valentine Nathan Taylor Tyler Maynard Sam Archer Nick Sanchez Benjamin Giraud Matthew Caputo Glen Facey Joshua Gordon
Katie Nanna Louisa Shaw Megan Osterhaus Sophie Caton Emily Harvey Natalie Alexopoulos Claire Parrish Jacqueline Hughes
Northbrook Nathan Taylor Matt Loehr Martin Neely Dominic Roberts Adam Murphy John Stacey Ian Gareth-Jones Stephen Anderson
Von Hussler Alan Vicary Sean McCourt Ian Caddick Michael Gerhart Troy Sussman Anthony Lawrence Mark Goldthorp
Policeman Tim Morgan James Hindman Christopher Dickins Laird Mackintosh Adam Murphy John Stacey Ian Gareth-Jones Andrew Broadbent

Notable replacements

Original West End production (2005–2008)

Original Broadway production (2006–2013)

UK Tour (2008–2009)

US Tour (2009–2013)

Australian production (2010–2012)

West End revival (2019-2022)


Act I

Bert, a man of many professions, introduces the audience to Cherry Tree Lane ("Prologue/Chim Chim Cher-ee/Cherry Tree Lane – Part 1") in Edwardian London. Number 17 is where the Banks family lives: George and Winifred Banks, their two naughty children Jane and Michael, their cook/maid, Mrs. Brill and their house boy, Robertson Ay. Things are not going well for Jane and Michael. They are out of control and, as the show starts, their latest nanny, Katie Nanna, storms out. After that, Mrs. Brill and Robertson Ay complain about living in a "madhouse." The children decide to write the advertisement for a new nanny ("The Perfect Nanny"), but George, having a very different idea of what constitutes the perfect nanny, tears up the piece of paper and throws it in the fireplace. The family all reflect on if they will ever find the perfect nanny ("Cherry Tree Lane - Part 2"). Within moments, Mary Poppins arrives, restored advertisement in hand, and takes charge of the Banks children, having every confidence in her own qualifications and merits ("Practically Perfect").

On the children's first outing to the park, they meet Bert and, despite their reservations, Mary teaches them that they must learn to look past appearances. To illustrate the point, Mary brings the park statues, including a mythological figure named Neleus, to life ("Jolly Holiday"). A storm starts to brew and the children quickly hurry home, but not before Neleus mentions how much he misses his father.

While Mary manages the children, other problems lie with their parents. Winifred is aware that she is somehow disappointing both her children and her husband. George, on the other hand, can't understand why she finds the role of wife and mother so difficult. In an effort to please her husband, Winifred sends out invitations for a smart tea party ("Cherry Tree Lane (Reprise) / Being Mrs. Banks / Jolly Holiday (Reprise)"). Mrs. Brill makes the preparations, while telling an eager Robertson Ay to keep his hands off. The children inadvertently sabotage the kitchen preparations, but Mary sorts it out with a lesson ("A Spoonful of Sugar"). However, it is then revealed that none of the invitees are coming and Winifred reflects on her failure at pleasing George ("A Spoonful Of Sugar (Reprise)").

Mary takes the children to visit their father at the bank where he works ("Precision and Order"). There, George is busy dealing with possible investment clients: firstly, an ambitious man named Herr Von Hussler with an elaborate money-making scheme, and then a middle-class man named John Northbrook with a simple factory project. George is furious when Mary turns up with the children, but an innocent question asked by Jane (What's more important, a good man or a good idea?) makes him realise how much his values have changed ("A Man Has Dreams") since he was an idealistic young man. He then decides to accept Northbrook's project and rejects Von Hussler's, even though he knows the bank disapproves.

Outside St. Paul's Cathedral, Mary introduces the children to the Bird Woman ("Feed the Birds"). Jane is suspicious of her, but Michael responds to the Bird Woman and throws crumbs for the birds. On the trip home, the children meet the enigmatic Mrs. Corry who runs a magic sweet shop that also sells words ("Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious").

The children return home in high spirits, unaware that things have gone wrong for their father. Unknown to them, George's decision to reject Von Hussler has cost the bank dearly, and he is suspended without pay. George explodes with rage at the children and they are sent to the nursery. Reacting to their father's outburst, Mary briefly points out that other members of the family are rarely there to take care of the parents, before Jane and Michael get into a fight over Jane's doll Valentine, prompting a displeased Mary to order them to bed and enchant them to sleep. The frightening consequence of Jane's anger becomes apparent moments afterwards, as Valentine and the rest of Jane and Michael's disgruntled toys come to life and join Mary in teaching them a lesson in how to take better care of their belongings and toys (formerly "Temper, Temper", now "Playing the Game").

Believing that Jane and Michael need personal growth, Mary decides to leave Cherry Tree Lane to bring them to their senses, and speaks with Bert about her decision ("Chim Chim Cher-ee – Rooftop Duet"). She then flies away using her magical parrot headed umbrella. Jane and Michael wake up to find Mary Poppins and their toys gone, leaving only a note on the floor that reads, "Dear Jane and Michael, keep playing the game. Au Revoir, Mary Poppins." Mrs. Brill sees them awake, and when asked about what "Au Revoir" means, she tells them that it means "Till we meet again" before sending them in for bed.

Act II

In a misguided attempt to please her husband, Winifred arranges for his childhood nanny, Miss Andrew, to take over from the suddenly departed Mary ("Cherry Tree Lane (Reprise)"). At the sight of her, a terrified George flees, exclaiming "the Holy Terror!" To everyone's shock and dismay, he is right. Miss Andrew is a brutal and cruel tyrant, quick to administer her own terrible elixir ("Brimstone and Treacle Part 1") and discipline by threatening to split Jane and Michael up by taking charge of Jane and sending Michael to boarding school. After Miss Andrew goes to her room, Jane and Michael decide that running away is the only solution.

The children find their good friend Bert, who cheers them up and helps Michael fulfill his dream of flying a kite ("Let's Go Fly a Kite"). Mary Poppins flies in on the kite from the sky and reunites with the children. They update her on Miss Andrew and she takes them home, planning to "surprise" Andrew. Also hiding in the park is George, who is depressed over his supposed lack of achievements ("Good For Nothing"). Searching for him is Winifred, who at last understands her husband and the damage that was done to him by Miss Andrew ("Being Mrs Banks (Reprise)").

When the children return to Number 17, Mary sets Caruso, Miss Andrew's lark, free from his cage. This leads to a confrontation between the two nannies, ending with Miss Andrew having a taste of her own medicine as she is trapped in a large birdcage and vanishes down below ("Brimstone and Treacle Part 2"). Winifred and then George return at this point, surprised but pleased that Miss Andrew has "left".

The group ascends to the rooftops, where Bert introduces the children to his friends the chimney sweeps ("Step in Time"). The sweeps' dance eventually enters the house, causing chaos. As the sweeps quickly exit, George receives a telegram from the bank requesting his presence there. George assumes that he has been fired and decides it's time to sell the family heirloom. However, the vase is shattered accidentally by Mrs. Brill, who goes into a despairing shock since she had been cleaning it from the top of the shelf. When she is being led away for comfort, George goes to clean the broken pile himself, to find it reveal a collection of gingerbread stars from his childhood. This leads to a brief moment of reflection for George ("A Man Has Dreams (Reprise) / A Spoonful Of Sugar (Reprise)"). After shaking hands with Bert, George leaves to meet the Chairman of the Bank.

At the children's encouragement, Winifred decides to follow her heart and be at George's side at the bank ("Anything Can Happen (Part 1)"). Unseen to anyone else, Mary takes Jane and Michael into the sky to follow, where they watch the unfolding events. On his way to the bank, George encounters the bird woman and gives her tuppence to feed the birds ("Feed The Birds (Reprise)")

At the bank ("Precision And Order (Reprise)"), George is surprised to learn the consequence of his choice: far from ruining the bank, he has made a fortune by both rejecting Von Hussler and approving Mr. Northbrook's loan. They ask for the word that made them so successful, which George admits to be Mary's word, ("Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Reprise)"). Winifred, arriving to defend her husband, finds instead he is the hero of the hour. After she mentions Miss Andrew's name to the Bank Manager, the old man, too, relates his experience under "the Holy Terror". Winifred convinces the manager to quadruple George's salary. George apologizes for underestimating her, and together they return to the house. Mary and Bert take the children across the skies and they see everyone they met along their journey including Mrs. Correy, Neleus, and even Miss Andrew, who kindly shakes hands with Michael ("Anything Can Happen (Part 2)").

Mary realises that with the family reunited and happy, her task is done. With regret, she says goodbye to Bert with a kiss on the cheek and sets off ("A Spoonful Of Sugar (A Task Is Done)"). Jane and Michael accept that Mary is leaving them and tell her that they'll never forget her. The two children watch as their parents waltz happily together and Mary flies high above the audience using her magical parrot headed umbrella.

Differences from the film and books

The stage musical is not a direct adaptation of the Disney film, but features elements of the film and the original books, plus original updated elements. The dancing penguins in the "Jolly Holiday" sequence and the tea party on the ceiling at Uncle Albert's (likely due to the inability to make things float on stage) from the film have been removed, although some community theatres dress their chorus as penguins for "Jolly Holiday". The character of Neleus from the books comes to life in the musical, but was not seen in the film. Mrs. Corry and her daughters have a cameo in the film, and are in the musical and books. There are many elements from the books that do not appear in the film or musical, such as Nellie Rubina and the Balloon Woman.

The musical places more emphasis on Jane and Michael being naughty and their parents being dysfunctional to heighten the drama. Jane and Michael are constantly answering back and fighting, necessitating a new sequence where Mary brings Jane's doll Valentine and the other toys to life to berate them in the song "Playing the Game". This sequence, originally titled "Temper Temper," was inspired from a chapter in the books titled Bad Wednesday. George Banks has been expanded from the film: in the musical it is revealed that he had a difficult childhood in which he was ignored by his parents, Jane and Michael's paternal grandparents, and was placed under the care of a fearsome nanny. This nanny, Miss Andrew, a character from the books, makes an appearance in the musical as the polar opposite of Mary Poppins, advocating "brimstone and treacle" instead of "a spoonful of sugar". Winifred Banks is no longer the suffragette of the film, but a former actress who is struggling to fulfill her husband's expectations of her. The character of Ellen the maid, played by Hermione Baddeley in the film, was cut entirely. A new character, Miss Smythe, was created to introduce the bank chairman. Admiral Boom does not blow his cannon making the house shake like he does in the film.

The bank chairman's father does not make an appearance like in the film, nor does Mr. Binnacle, Admiral Boom's assistant. New characters were developed to create a new conflict at the bank, the nice John Northbrook and scheming Herr Von Hussler. Another character from the books that is in the musical is Robertson Ay, the houseboy, who did not appear in the film.

A number of musical sequences have been modified from their purpose in the film. These are:

Major characters


The following is the song list of the original London production. Subsequent productions have different songs or rearranged their order.

Original London Cast "Janes & Michaels", Left to right (FRONT): Poppy Lee Friar, Jack Montgomery, Perry Millward, Harry Stott, Ben Watton, Jake Catterall, Nicola Bowman. Left to right (BACK): Charlotte Spencer, Faye Spittlehouse, Carrie Fletcher, with songwriter Robert B. Sherman. (Photo Date: 19 July 2004)

*Not included in the Original London Cast recording.
†"Playing the Game" replaced "Temper, Temper" in 2009.

Deleted Songs (from the film)

Songs that were in the original movie but omitted from the musical are:

A deleted song for Mrs. Banks was called "What I Can Do", according to an interview with George Stiles and Richard Sherman. It was thought to be a sort of 1920s-style number, so they later wrote "Being Mrs. Banks" instead.[59]


The original London cast recording of the show was released shortly after its West End premiere. It features most of the major musical numbers from the show's score. When the Broadway production opened, a recording was released featuring several songs with the original American cast, including an edited version of "Feed the Birds" for Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins in the original American cast) on the song. On 18 February 2011, the Australian cast recording was released; the first recording to include the changes made to the show's score since its first London production.

Chart (2012) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[60] 13
Chart (2010) Peak
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[61] 2

Awards and nominations

Original London production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2005 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical Gavin Lee Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Laura Michelle Kelly Won
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical David Haig Nominated
Best Director Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear Won
Best Set Design Bob Crowley Nominated
Best Costume Design Nominated
Best Lighting Design Howard Harrison Nominated

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2007 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Gavin Lee Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Rebecca Luker Nominated
Best Choreography Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear Nominated
Best Scenic Design Bob Crowley Won
Best Costume Design Nominated
Best Lighting Design Howard Harrison Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Julian Fellowes Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Ashley Brown Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Gavin Lee Won
Outstanding Choreography Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Bob Crowley Won

2019 West End Revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2020 Laurence Olivier Award[62] Best Musical Revival Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical Charlie Stemp Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Zizi Strallen Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Petula Clark Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear Won
Best Set Design Bob Crowley Won


  1. ^ "Mary Poppins' Secrets". Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Sibley, John; Michael Lassell (2007). Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen If You Let It. Disney Editions New York. pp. 348–349. ISBN 978-0-7868-3657-4.
  3. ^ Staff. "Broadway's Gavin Creel to Play Bert in West End 'Mary Poppins'" Archived 2017-08-29 at the Wayback Machine, June 1, 2006
  4. ^ Inverne, James (2004-12-10). "London's Mary Poppins Sets Age Limits for Theatregoers". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06.
  5. ^ Inverne, James (2005-03-18). "Julie Andrews Makes Stage Appearance at Mary Poppins". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  6. ^ Nathan, John (2008-01-12). "London Mary Poppins Takes Her Final Bow". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  7. ^ A Jolly Holiday: Mary Poppins Opens at the New Amsterdam Nov. 16 Playbill, November 16, 2006
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