Lifestyle Review: Mary Poppins Is Super*
Dubai Opera opened its doors to a world of nostalgia last week, in the form of Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s musical version of Mary Poppins. From start to finish we were transported back to our childhoods as everyone’s favourite nanny was brought to life in the most magical way.
To be honest, we were initially sceptical of how the adaptation would compare to such a beloved film, but we were blown away. The beautifully designed sets, seamlessly flowing between scenes, were aweinspiring by themselves. With what seems like a flick of a switch, the Banks’ house is transformed into a park, which in turn explodes with colour as they jump into Bert’s painting. Whatever logistical aspect you can imagine would be difficult to bring to the stage, has been executed in the most creative way.
Not to upset any die-hard film fans, but the performances (except for Dick Van Dyke’s questionable cockney accent) stay true to the original, in our opinion. The children playing Jane and Michael Banks make us question our life choices, as even at their ages, they can command the stage with an incredible presence. Matt Lee’s charming portrayal of Bert put a smile on everyone’s faces as he chased Mary around the stage, giving a thrilling rendition of Chim Chim Che-ree.
The obvious star of the show, Zizi Strallen, makes you believe that off and on stage she can’t possibly be anything but Mary Poppins. Without so much as misstep or a flat note throughout her effortless performance, we certainly couldn’t imagine a better fit for the role.
We have to hold off on any spoilers, but trust us, you will walk away wanting to revisit Cherry Tree Lane over and over again.
INFO: Until 25 May, Dubai Opera, tickets available from dubaiopera.com