Wednesday, 9 November 2016

On the rooftops of London

As presaged the other day, I have been to see Mary Poppins, and very good it was too. The musical is based in part on the film - the classic songs are here- but also draws heavily on some elements in the original novels that Disney left out. Mrs Banks gets a much larger part and there are none of the those terrible penguins. In fact, let's be frank, the film isn't actually that good despite having a fair number of magical scenes. I am tempted to digress by relating the story of how my father-in-law, like Dick van Dyke's character in the film, didn't quite get it on with Dame Julie Andrews. However the story, while entirely true and taking place on the Lancashire music hall circuit of the immediate post-war years, probably falls into the category of those for which the world is not yet ready.

But as I say, the stage musical is rather well done, with plenty of spectacle and special effects. Many of those from the film remain - hatstands being drawn from bags, walking on the ceiling, sliding up the banisters - but are more impressive seeing them done live in front of you. Plenty of excellent performances, including the Banks children, and some not too ridiculous cockney accents made an enjoyable evening for both the younger Miss Epictetus and me.

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