Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's beloved Australian production of MARY POPPINS will play its final performance in Melbourne at Her Majesty's Theatre on Friday, April 1 before moving the entire production to the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, beginning Sunday, April 17 for a May 5th opening. The Melbourne production of MARY POPPINS premiered on Thursday, July 29, 2010, opening to critical acclaim and welcoming more than 500,000 theatergoers. When the curtain comes down on the final Melbourne show, MARY POPPINS will have played to 100% capacity at each of its 299 performances.
Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu said Melbourne has been proud to host this popular and critically acclaimed production. "When Mary Poppins picks up her brolly and flies into the heavens today, she will leave Melbourne with an outstanding achievement – every single seat for every single performance sold out." Baillieu continued, "On behalf of the Coalition Government, I would like to particularly thank James Thane and his team at Disney Theatrical Productions and their co-producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, for choosing Melbourne as the Australian city to premiere this production. With 18 per cent of audiences – or 90,000 people – being visitors to Victoria, there is no doubt that 'Mary' has had a real impact on Melbourne, bringing visitors and economic benefits, employing our talented artists, supporting our hotels, restaurants and retailers and adding to the livability of our city of Melbourne."
Sydney's robust advance bookings indicate that the city shares Melbourne's deep affection for the world's most beloved nanny.
"To have been embraced so warmly and sold out every single performance in PL Travers' backyard has been exceptionally rewarding for all of us," said Thomas Schumacher, Producer and President Disney Theatrical Productions. "Thank you, Melbourne, for allowing our dear Mary to fly so high."
Cameron Mackintosh said "Mary Poppins triumph in Melbourne has been more supercalifragilistic than I could have hoped. I would like to thank the Premier and everyone involved with the show and of course the Victorian audiences for making it a truly magical experience."
The Australian engagement is a homecoming for the beloved character. MARY POPPINS was born in the pen of author P.L. Travers, who herself was born in Maryborough, Queensland, and was an actor and journalist in Sydney before moving to London. The first Mary Poppins book was published in 1934 and the enduring story of the 'practically perfect nanny' has enchanted readers ever since.
The Australian production stars Verity Hunt-Ballard in the title role and Matt Lee as Bert. The cast also features Philip Quast as George Banks, Marina Prior as Winifred Banks, Sally Anne Upton as Mrs. Brill, Debra Byrne as Bird Woman, Christopher Rickerby as Robertson Ay, Judi Connelli as Miss Andrew and David Henry as Admiral Boom.
A co-production by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, this stage production is based on P.L. Travers' cherished stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film and includes the film's Academy Award®-winning music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The stage production was created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who wrote the book; Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre; and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.