• Susie and Steve Walsh looking a bit Chim Chim Cher-eed after the show.

    Susie and Steve Walsh looking a bit Chim Chim Cher-eed after the show.

  • Chris and Nikole Neal with Musical Director Ian McLean

    Chris and Nikole Neal with Musical Director Ian McLean

  • Rachael Sims and Kylie Murdoch

    Rachael Sims and Kylie Murdoch

  • Abbey Murdoch and Hayley Hebditch

    Abbey Murdoch and Hayley Hebditch

  • Bill and Lynn Blomfield

    Bill and Lynn Blomfield

  • Laura Smith, Julie Goodwin, Sarah Darnley-Stuart and Peita Chappell

    Laura Smith, Julie Goodwin, Sarah Darnley-Stuart and Peita Chappell

  • Lauren Ashman and Freya Ashman

    Lauren Ashman and Freya Ashman

  • Jessica McNeill, Annette McNeill and Lesley Lee

    Jessica McNeill, Annette McNeill and Lesley Lee

  • Ruby and Rachel Evagelou

    Ruby and Rachel Evagelou

  • Alicia Da Costa and Janelle McMenamin

    Alicia Da Costa and Janelle McMenamin

  • Shaun Rennie and Alinta Chidzey arrive for the after party and the accolades.

    Shaun Rennie and Alinta Chidzey arrive for the after party and the accolades.

  •  The stars of Mary Poppins Shaun Rennie and Alinta Chidzey

    The stars of Mary Poppins Shaun Rennie and Alinta Chidzey

  • Sharon Griffin and Chris Byrne

    Sharon Griffin and Chris Byrne

  • Choreographer Jacquelyn Richards and Producer Anne Somes

    Choreographer Jacquelyn Richards and Producer Anne Somes

Mary Poppins Opening Night @ The Canberra Theatre

14 March 2015

Anne Somes has produced a memorable Mary Poppins for Free-Rain Theatre Company.  It is – well in my opinion - her best show in a stellar career and to feel the buzz, see the audience reaction and enjoy all aspects of opening night at the Canberra Theatre was to be reminded how important the big production numbers are to a show, that attention to every little detail is important and the cohesiveness of the cast is always reflected in their performance.

We fell in love with this Mary Poppins as the very beautiful and talented Alinta Chidzey demonstrated her multi skills of acting, singing, dancing and brolly flying in a role she made her own from the getgo. So too her bestie Bert, Shaun Rennie, matching her talents and bringing Bert’s wisdom as a foil for the amazing Miss Poppins. Both these professional leads have CV’s of an extraordinary mix and complexity of roles and the match up of them for this production was a perfect match. Cast members extolled the joy of working with them both when rehearsing for our Mary Poppins. 
It is a production by many talented people, well cast and with all the magical moments and tricks the story requires adapted and eased into this story where ‘anything can happen if you let it’ and it does. It is a life lesson from a nanny who knew about balance between discipline and imagination, exuberance and sensitivity for her charges, and most of all about family and love.

There are for us all familiar songs from this much loved musical and some of the magical moments include ‘Feed the Birds’ with Bronwyn Sullivan tugging at our hearts, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ of course and the absolutely fabulous tap dancing chimney sweeps with their seven and half minutes performing - Anne Somes told me that - that felt like a couple of minutes and was the equal of any Tapping Dogs I’ve seen. For visual impact the wily bunch of old crones from George Banks’ bank traversing the stage were a sight to behold and the india rubber man antics of Lachlan Agett as Robertson Ay such fun. 

Costumes, set design, lighting and sound, the music of course and the imaginative use of new technologies for flying kites and lighting the gas lamps and that tear jerking moment of our Mary Poppins flying away forever are all memorable and I’m going back again with some littlies to enjoy the magic that is Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins is at The Canberra Theatre until 29 March.