Thomas Schumacher, producer for Disney Theatrical Productions, and Sir Cameron Mackintosh today announced that they have joined forces to co-produce a stage adaptation of the classic film musical Mary Poppins based on the stories by P. L. (Pamela) Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film. The production will open at the Prince Edward Theatre on December 15, 2004, 40 years after the premiere of the film.
Announcing the team, the two producers said, "Everyone we talked to about working with us feels the same, a sense that these characters and stories are their own personal property. It is this deep-rooted appeal which has enabled us to put together a dream team to write and stage the musical."
The multi award-winning creative team assembled for Mary Poppins is led by stage and film director Sir Richard Eyre. Co-direction and choreography will be supplied by Matthew Bourne, with additional choreography by Stephen Mear. Bob Crowley will design the sets and costumes. Lighting design will be by Howard Harrison, sound by Andrew Bruce, and orchestrations by William David Brohn.
Mary Poppins will include many of the original songs from the film, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The new stage production has been created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has written the book, and the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who have written the new songs and additional music and lyrics.
Mary Poppins played to an estimated 200 million people when it was released as a film, engendering extraordinary affection in its audiences and has remained one of Disney's most enduring and best-loved films.