London Mary Poppins Takes Her Final Bow

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12 Jan 2008

Gavin Creel in the West End production of <i>Mary Poppins</i>.
Gavin Creel in the West End production of Mary Poppins.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! The world's favorite nanny takes her final bow in London when Mary Poppins finishes a three-year run at the Prince Edward Theatre Jan. 12.

The Disney/Cameron Mackintosh musical opened at the Prince Edward Dec. 15, 2004.

The seven-time, Tony-nominated Broadway version opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Nov. 16, 2006, where it continues to play. Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne co-directed both the London and New York productions.

In New York Bob Crowely won the Tony for Best Scenic Design of a Musical, while in London Laura Michelle Kelley — who is soon to make her West End straight-play debut with Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in Speed-the-Plow — won an Olivier Award for her performance in the musical's title role. Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear shared the Best Choreography Olivier for their Mary Poppins work.

Gavin Lee, who created the role of Bert in the West End, took his performance to New York, where he was nominated for the Best Leading Actor Tony Award.

The London production currently stars Scarlett Strallen as the flying nanny and American Gavin Creel as the cockney chimneysweep Bert.

Following the final London performance, the show is due to commence a U.K. and international tour.

Mary Poppins includes many of the original songs from the film with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The stage production was created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who wrote the book, and the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who wrote new songs and additional music and lyrics for the show.

Jersey Boys, the Frankie Valli Broadway hit, will replace Mary Poppins at Mackintosh's Prince Edward Theatre on Feb. 28 with an official opening night March 18.