As was the case with her predecessor, Laura Michelle Kelly, Strallen is not a household name, even among music theatre buffs. But she has been seen in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in shows at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and in Poppins producer Cameron Mackintosh’s own staging of The Witches of Eastwick. Her co-star Gavin Lee, a holdover from the original cast, was equally unknown — a journeyman musicals performer who initially auditioned to understudy the part of Bert and won top billing. The mostly new ensemble takes over at the Prince Edward Theatre on Oct. 31. Eliza Lumley will play Mrs. Banks with Aden Gillet as her dictatorial husband.
The show is a collaboration between two behemoths of the producing world, Mackintosh and Disney Theatricals. One of the blockbuster musicals to open in London in recent years (others being Guys and Dolls, Billy Elliot, The Producers and The Woman in White), it’s directed by Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne, with a book by Julian Fellows and additional songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
The show is now booking until Oct. 29, 2006. For more information call (0)870 060 6629.