According to the Daily Mail, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s new Mary Poppins is Scarlett Strallen.

Cameron Mackintosh has still not officially confirmed the cast, but with just over one week until their opening night, the subject of the new nanny has been a hot topic (See our Discussion Forum).

Strallen’s previous credits include The Witches of Eastwick, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and this summer she starred in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s productions of HMS Pinafore Cymbeline and Twelfth Night.

She will take over from Olivier Award winner Laura Michelle Kelly on Monday 31 October, alongside Aden Gillett (Blithe Spirit), who takes over from David Haig and Mr Banks, and Eliza Lumley (Mamma Mia) taking over from Linzi Hateley as Mrs Banks.

Gavin Lee will stay on as Chimney Sweep Bert in the new cast.

The show, which opened on on 15 December 2004 (following previews from 6 December and an eight-week tryout at the Bristol Hippodrome) has a book by Julian Fellows and new music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, in addition to many of the Sherman brothers’ original film songs. The production is co-directed by Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne, choreographed by Bourne and Stephen Mear and designed by Bob Crowley.

Mary Poppins recently extended its run and is now booking until 29 October 2006. (See News 19 Oct 2005).

- by Caroline Ansdell