She stays until the wind changes, and it seems Australia’s weather is shifting. The world’s most loved nanny will fly out of Perth today in the final performance of Mary Poppins for the Australian season.
After the Australian premiere season began at Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne on July 29 2010, Mary Poppins has enjoyed hugely successful seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth over the past 2 years.
In her review of the show, AussieTheatre’s Anne-Marie Peard said:
“Bring every child you know to Mary Poppins because they deserve to see something this gorgeous – and bring all the grown ups you know because they deserve to feel like a child again.” – read review here.
After an extensive search for Australia’s Mary, Adelaide born WAAPA graduate Verity Hunt-Ballard won the role and performed in the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane seasons, earning herself a Helpmann Award in 2011. West End star Scarlett Strallen gave Verity a well earned break at the end of last year when she took over the role in the Sydney for a few months, and British actress Lisa O’Hare has closed the Australian tour as the no nonsense nanny in Perth.
Matt Lee has starred in the role of Bert, the cheeky chimney sweep, for the entire Australian tour and also won a 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Marina Prior, Philip Quast, Debra Byrne, Pippa Grandison, Sally Anne Upton, Judi Connelli, Natalie Gamsu and Delia Hannah have all appeared onstage in various seasons of Mary Poppins during the last 23 months, making Mary Poppins one of the most star-studded musicals to hit the Australian stage in a long time.
An original Australian cast recording has been released and is available for purchase on iTunes.
Mary Poppins Seasons, Australia
Melbourne (29 July 2010 – 1 April 2011)
Sydney (17 April 2011 – 17 December 2011)
Brisbane (27 December 2011 – 17 March 2012)
Perth (31 March 2012 – 3 June 2012)