In a statement producer Cameron Mackintosh said, "After the most exhaustive search for a performer I have undertaken in the 30 years I have been bringing my productions to Australia, I am thrilled to announce that we have finally chosen our Mary Poppins – Verity Hunt-Ballard who will star opposite Matt Lee’s Bert. Verity flew from Melbourne to Amsterdam on the weekend for her final audition for the production team, where we are all preparing the Dutch production which opens in a few weeks. Verity gave a tremendous audition – witty, charming, self-assured, with her own impish sense of fun. She is unlike any other of the hundreds of girls we have seen and is indeed Practically Perfect in every way."
Hunt-Ballard, who is currently appearing in the Australian production of Jersey Boys, will be joined onstage in Poppins by Matt Lee as Bert, Philip Quast as Mr. George Banks, Marina Prior as Mrs. Winifred Banks, Sally Anne Upton as Mrs. Brill, Christopher Rickerby as Robertson Ay, David Henry as Admiral Boom, Judi Connelli as Miss Andrew and Debra Byrne as The Bird Woman.
The production is directed by Richard Eyre with co-direction and choreography by Matthew Bourne. Set and costume designs are by Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison and orchestrations by William David Brohn. Associate director is James Powell, associate choreographer is Geoffrey Garratt, musical supervisor is Stephen Brooker and musical director is Paul Christ.
The musical boasts original songs from the film — with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman — as well as new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Julian Fellowes wrote the book.
Tickets are on sale by calling 1300 555 593 or by visiting marypoppinsthemusical.com.au.