Was Mary Poppins practically perfect for the critics in the West End?
The new production opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on 13 November
Sarah Crompton, WhatsOnStage
"The musical's best sequences are those that just let rip with joy and wonder. Richard Eyre directs with pace and panache, much helped by the choreography of Matthew Bourne (who is also co-director) and Stephen Mear which use sophisticated dance steps to bring statues to life and raucous, wonderful tap to set the chimney sweeps surging across the stage in "Step in Time".
Michael Billington The Guardian
"The biggest change lies in casting Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins. Long before she flies over the heads of the audience, she suggests there is something unearthly about this life-enhancing nanny. Every movement she makes is balletic – she doesn't just exit from a room but floats out of it with arms extended."
Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
"Petula Clark, first lady of Britpop, is in the role of the ragged Bird Woman, crooning "Feed the Birds". Beaming beatifically, she doesn't raise the roof but stirs the heart, which young or old, should find in this enchanted evening just the right mix of psychological succour and showbiz chutzpah."
Nick Curtis, Evening Standard
"The dance routines and stage illusions are terrific. It features an exquisitely pert, poised, central performance from Zizi Strallen, a likeable turn from Charlie Stemp as cockney polymath Bert, and a haunting cameo from 86-year-old Petula Clark as the Bird Woman."
Clive Davis, The Times
"Amy Griffiths has a meatier role in Mrs Banks, a former actress who is overwhelmed by the demands of parenthood and Edwardian respectability. Joseph Millson is suitably austere as the paterfamilias."
Alice Saville, Time Out
"This 2004 musical couldn't look more magical; the Banks' family Cherry Tree Lane residence becomes a giant doll's house of wonders, opening up to reveal charming Victorian interiors and plenty of magical surprises."
Tim Bano, The Stage
"Some of the supporting cast also impress. Claire Machin's comically harried housekeeper Mrs Brill is a delight, as is Charlie Stemp – not only is he a far more convincing cockney than Dick Van Dyke and Lin-Manuel Miranda, he's a joy to watch."