Cameron Mackintosh and Disney have announced that Petula Clark and Joseph Millson will join the Company to play the Bird Woman and George Banks in the new production of Mary Poppins, which returns to its original West End home at the Prince Edward Theatre from 23 October 2019. They join the previously announced Zizi Strallen in the title role and Charlie Stemp as Bert.
The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of Mary Poppins, brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the original beloved Walt Disney film, continues to be a smash hit around the world since it opened in London 15 years ago.
Petula Clark became a star in the UK at nine years old singing for the troops stationed in England during World War II. Many years later she moved to France and soon became a European star recording in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. While still living in Paris, English songwriter Tony Hatch presented her with his new composition, Downtown, which became a worldwide hit and led to a string of top ten records, winning her two Grammy awards and making her an international star. She later met with Charlie Chaplin who penned one of her further major hits This Is My Song. She has performed in her own TV shows in the UK, the US and France and has starred in the iconic films Finian’s Rainbow with Fred Astaire and Goodbye Mr. Chips with Peter O’Toole. She has been seen on stage in West End and on Broadway, and has just finished a triumphant US tour. During her extensive career spanning eight decades, she sold over 70 million records. Clark was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 and was installed as a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on France in 2012.
Joseph Millson’s extensive theatre credits include Apologia at Trafalgar Studios, The Rover for the Royal Shakespeare Company for which he won the Best Performance in a Play Award at the 2017 UK Theatre Awards, Mr Foote’s Other Leg at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe, Much Ado About Nothing, King John and the Spanish Golden Age Season for the RSC/West End, Rocket to the Moon, Pillars of the Community and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour for the National Theatre, Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre for which he won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical and The Priory for the Royal Court Theatre. His more recent television work includes Catch 22, Grantchester, Ransom, Banished, 24 Live Another Day, as well as regular roles in The Last Kingdom, Campus, Holby City and The Sarah Jane Adventures. His film credits include Casino Royale, I Give It A Year, All The Devils Men, Dragonheart Vengeance, Angel Has Fallen, No Vacancies, Burning Men, Tango One, The Dead 2 and Devil’s Bridge.
Zizi Strallen’s previous theatre credits include Fran in Strictly Ballroom The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre, Follies at the National Theatre, Mary Poppins on tour in the UK, Ireland and in Dubai, Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man and Cinderella at Sadler’s Wells and on tour, Cats and Scrooge at the London Palladium, Hairspray and Chicago at Leicester Curve, Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre and The Music Man for Chichester Festival Theatre.
Award-winning Charlie Stemp can currently be seen in the UK tour of Rough Crossing and was last on stage in the West End in Snow White at the London Palladium. His previous theatre credits include Barnaby Tucker opposite Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters in the Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!, Dick Whittington at the London Palladium and his critically acclaimed performance as Arthur Kipps in Half a Sixpence at the Nöel Coward Theatre, a role he first performed at Chichester Festival Theatre. His further theatre credits include Wicked at the Apollo Victoria and the international tour of Mamma Mia!
The original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman include the classic songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Feed the Birds and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. New songs and additional music are by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Book is by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes and this production is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.
This production of Mary Poppins has orchestrations by William David Brohn with dance and vocal arrangements by George Stiles. It has a new sound design by Paul Gatehouse and new lighting by Hugh Vanstone and Natasha Katz. Co-choreography is by Stephen Mear. The reimagined set and costume designs are by Bob Crowley. Co-direction and choreography is by Matthew Bourne and direction by Richard Eyre.
The stage production of Mary Poppins originally opened in the West End in December 2004, running for over 1,250 performances. During this time, the production won two Olivier Awards and an Evening Standard Award. Subsequently the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production ran for over six years. This new production of the show will be seen for the first time in London following record-breaking runs in Australia, North America, the UK and Ireland, New Zealand, Holland, Mexico, Austria, Switzerland, Dubai, Japan and Germany, where the production recently entered its second hit year in Hamburg. Mary Poppins is also the biggest hit musical ever in Italy where it is currently running in Milan, with several further new productions to open in Europe over the next three years.
Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4HS
23 October 2019 – 29 March 2020
Opening night: 13 November 2019