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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December 2004, 14:30 GMT
Press views: Mary Poppins
Perennial children's favourite Mary Poppins took to the London stage for the first time on Wednesday night. The lavish new production based on the classic film and Pamela Travers' original book caught the eye of the press.

THE TIMES - BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE

Mary Poppins
Laura Michelle Kelly took to the stage in the title role

Long before Laura Michelle Kelly's demure Mary has zoomed over the stalls into the theatre's star-splattered eaves, this marvellously fresh adaptation of PL Travers' stories had clearly won the hearts, minds, eyes and ears of last night's audience.

I don't think it was just theatre chauvinism that left me thinking the show better in every way than the Disney film, delightful though that seemed 40 years ago.

Could Kelly's Poppins be more starchy and severe, as she is in the stories? Maybe, but I enjoyed her brisk, slightly smug confidence, her singing voice and much, much else.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - or so I'd say.

DAILY MAIL - QUENTIN LETTS

This Mary Poppins is a teacher not just for the young. She shakes us city grown-ups by the scruff and reminds us of important things.

Laura Michelle Kelly in the lead role is an entire category better than the great Julie Andrews, and this stage version has much, much more punch than the adored old film version.

This production is certainly no mere kids' night out. It makes you cry and there are moments that will give fainthearts cause to shield their eyes.

With her brolly and her brio, this bird has plenty of bone in it. She flies.

THE INDEPENDENT

With its magic and chutzpah, it simply blows away the opposition from rival West End musicals, emerging as the year's most joyous, spectacular and heart-tugging show in that genre.

Mary Poppins
The new stage version was widely praised by the critics

As for Laura Michelle Kelly in the title role, she's superbly tantalizing and enigmatic, far more unknowable than the pert Julie Andrews.

She sings and dances with sublime assurance and is, in the character's own self-assessment, "practically perfect in every way".

DAILY TELEGRAPH - CHARLES SPENCER

Let's not mince words - the stage version of Mary Poppins is heaps better than the movie - funnier, sharper. more inventive and with a far greater variety of mood.

The film sometimes seemed saccharine. Here, the emotion is strong, true and heart-catching.

Although the show lasts over three hours, it doesn't feel a moment too long and the great theatrical coups just keep on coming.



SEE ALSO:
Poppins musical gets flying start
16 Dec 04 |  Entertainment
Star chosen for Poppins musical
28 Jan 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Mary Poppins star dies
24 Jun 00 |  UK News


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