London Mary Poppins Musical Finds Its Bert | Playbill

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News London Mary Poppins Musical Finds Its Bert Variety reports that Gavin Lee, who has appeared in such West End musicals as Peggy Sue Got Married and A Saint She Ain't, will portray Bert in the upcoming Mary Poppins musical.

That role was created in the 1964 film by Dick Van Dyke. Also recently cast: Rosemary Ashe, who co starred in London's The Witches of Eastwick, will play Miss Andrew, a role created for the stage musical, and Olivier Award winner David Haig will be Mr. Banks. Julia McKenzie and Alex Jennings played those roles in the workshop of the musical.

As previously announced, Laura Michelle Kelly, who can be seen as Hodel in the current Broadway revival of Fiddler On the Roof, will play the beloved nanny — the role originated on screen by Julie Andrews — in Mary Poppins, which begins performances at London's Prince Edward Theatre Dec. 15. Before it hits London, however, Poppins will have an out-of-town tryout at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Previews begin Sept. 15 at the Hippodrome with an official opening set for Sept. 18. The musical's limited engagement will end Nov. 6.

Mary Poppins will feature direction by Sir Richard Eyre, choreography by Matthew Bourne, design by Bob Crowley, a book by Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) and additional tunes (supplementing the original film score by Robert and Richard Sherman) by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Stiles and Drewe are the British songwriting team who composed the score for the Olivier Award winning musical Honk!.

Tickets for the West End run are now available by calling 011 44 20 7447-5458. *

The beloved 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins" starred Julie Andrews in the title role opposite the Bert of Dick Van Dyke. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the movie boasted a score by the Sherman brothers (Richard and Robert) and featured such tunes as "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Jolly Holiday," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Feed the Birds," "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Let's Go Fly a Kite." Nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture, the film garnered Oscars for Julie Andrews as well as those for Best Special Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; Best Score; and Best Song ("Chim Chim Cher-ee").

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