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Mary Poppins at The Arts Theatre - Review

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by Stacey Canavan (subscribe)
I'm a 29 year old female Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Journalism at The University of South Australia in 2013 & completed my Diploma in Photography
Event: -
02/07/15 - 01/08/15
Matt Byrne Media presents 'Mary Poppins' at the Arts Theatre from July 2nd until July 18th and at The Shedley Theatre from July 23rd until August 1st. It is based on the 1964 Oscar-winning Walt Disney film of the same name, adapted from the P. L. Travers' classic tale of a magical nanny. Directed by Matt Byrne, Musically directed by Gordon Combes and assistant Paul Sinkinson, Choreographed by Sue Pole, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B, Sherman, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Lighting by Mike Phillips and Ian Bargo.

The story follows The Banks family of Mr George Banks (James McCluskey-Gracia), Mrs Winifred Banks (Ellonye Keniry), daughter Jane (Shalani Wood) and son Michael (Sebastian Skubala) and their need for a nanny. When Mary Poppins (Lauren Potter) finds the Banks' ad for a nanny, she turns up just in time.

Poppins isn't like any nanny the children have ever had before, she takes them on magical journeys where they meet colourful characters and go to places they've never dreamed of. On their travels they meet Bert the Chimney sweep (Brendan Cooney) who shows them there's more to him than meets the eye. They meet Mrs Corry (Maggie Wood) in her shop of conversation and a talking park statue named Neleus (Ricki Do Jesus).

Poppins leaves the children briefly when she feels unappreciated, in order for them to realise how lucky they have things. She takes their toys with her as they don't look after them. While Poppins is away Mrs Banks tracks down Mr Banks nanny Miss Andrews, (Megan Humphries) from when he was a child. She is mean and gives them medicine and only then do they realise how special Mary Poppins really is.

The musical features all the favourite musical classics that made us love the Disney classic; the ones that stood out were 'Perfect Nanny' sang by Wood and Skubala. It was perfectly performed and by such young actors. The song 'Practically Perfect' by Wood, Skubala and Potter was so fun to watch and Potter sounded exactly like Potter from the Disney classic.

From the moment Cooney took to the stage at the beginning of the show with 'Chim Chim Cher-ee', I realised it was going to be a great performance. He was most similar to the original character in the Disney classic, from the way he spoke, sang and danced, he can't be faulted.

Wood and Skubala did an amazing job acting and singing and should be very proud. I loved hearing them sing individually in 'Perfect Nanny' and watching them act throughout the show. They both have a very big future ahead of them in the industry.

Lauren Potter, who played Mary Poppins, did a remarkable job. I loved the connection between her and Cooney. I loved hearing her sing 'Spoonful of Sugar' and 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' along with the cast. Potter said "she fell in love with Julie Andrews the moment she flew into Cherry Tree Lane" and I can say the audience fell in love with her in this role. It suited her and she was practically perfect in every way.

James McCluskey-Garcia and Ellonye Keniry made a great on screen couple. It was good to hear them both solo in 'Good for Nothing' and 'Being Mrs Banks' as they were both well suited to their roles.

The cleaning duo of Mrs Brill and Roberson Ay (Penni Hamilton-Smith and Callum Piotr Byrne) made a great team with comical antidotes and funny skits; they were the glue of this production. A special mention to Maggie Wood (Mrs Corry), Russell Ford (Park Keeper & Mr Northbrook), Ricki De Jesus (Neleus), Chris Bussey (Bird Woman & Queen Victoria).

Overall, Mary Poppins was a great production that can't be faulted. Well done to all the actors, band and all involved. Another great production by Matt Bryne Media.


The Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide. July 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 at 8pm. July 4, 11, 18 at 2pm

Elizabeth's Shedley Theatre, 10 Playford Boulevard, Elizabeth. July 23, 24, 25, 30 & August 1 at 8pm. July 25 & August 1 at 2pm.

Adults $40, Concession $35 booking fee, Group of 10 Adult $38, Concession $33. $30 Budget Nights on July 7 & 14 at the Arts and July 23 at the Shedley at 8pm.

Tickets are available online at or on 8262 4906 or BASS or
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Why? Musical Theatre
When: July 2nd - August 1st
Where: The Arts Theatre & Shedley Theatre
Cost: Adults $40, Concession $35 booking fee, Group of 10 Adult $38, Concession $33
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