Disney and Cameron Mackintosh have announced casting for the 2017 performances of the international tour of their multi award-winning musical MARY POPPINS, which will play in Switzerland and Dubai in 2017. Following the current highly acclaimed run of the production at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, the new cast of MARY POPPINS will open at the Theater 11 in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday 1 February 2017 with performances until Sunday 19 March 2017. The production will then run at Dubai Opera in Dubai, UAE from Monday 1 May 2017 until Wednesday 18 May 2017.
Leading the cast in the role of ‘Mary Poppins’ will be Lisa O’Hare for the Zurich season and Zizi Strallen for the Dubai season. They are joined in both Zurich and Dubai by current cast members Matt Lee as ‘Bert’, Neil Roberts as ‘George Banks’; Penelope Woodman as ‘Miss Andrew’; Wendy Ferguson as ‘Mrs Brill’; Grainne Renihan as ‘Bird Woman’ and Blair Anderson as ‘Robertson Ay’. Joining the company will be Kara Lane as ‘Winifred Banks’. They are joined by Yves Adang; Ryan Anderson; Jeremy Batt; Abby Bebbington; Jabari Braham; Emily Bull; Sophie Caton; Danielle Delys; Glen Facey; Bradley Gibbins-Klein; Hannah Grace; Lucy Harrison; Graham Hoadly; James Hume; Jason Kajdi; Charlie Kendall; Sam Lathwood; Sean Lopeman; Bryan Mottram; Anna Shircliff; Lucie-Mae Sumner; Anu Ogunmefun; Jo-Lucy Rackham; John Stacey; Christine Tucker; Wreh-Asha Walton and Scott Waugh.
Lisa O’Hare has previously played the role of ‘Mary Poppins’ in the West End, the UK tour and in Australia. Most recently she originated the role of ‘Sibella’ in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” on Broadway. Her other theatre credits include Eliza Doolittle in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of “My Fair Lady” on the USA national tour and UK tour; ‘Sally Bowles’ in “Cabaret” ‘Gigi’ in “Gigi”, “Anything Goes” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; ‘Guinevere’ in “Camelot” and ‘Maria’ in “The Sound of Music”.
Zizi Strallen is currently playing the role of ‘Mary Poppins’ in the International tour production. Prior to this, Zizi starred as ‘Lana’ in Matthew Bourne’s “The Car Man”. Her previous West End credits include: “Cats”; the multi award-winning “Merrily We Roll Along”; “Rock of Ages”; “Dirty Dancing”; “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella” at Sadler’s Wells. She has also appeared in “The Music Man” at Chichester Festival Theatre and as ‘Penny Pingleton’ in “Hairspray” at Leicester Curve.
Matt Lee, one of Australia’s premier “song and dance men”, played the role of ‘Bert’ in “Mary Poppins” in the hugely successful Australian production of the show, his portrayal winning him the prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical. His other theatre credits in Australia include “Miss Saigon”, “The Witches of Eastwick”, “Rent”, “Grease” and “The Boy from Oz”. Matt was also a permanent member of the judging panel for Australia’s “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Neil Roberts most recently appeared as Harry in “Mamma Mia!” at both the Prince of Wales and Novello Theatres in the West End. His other theatre credits include “Love for Love” and “The Prisoners of War” at Hampstead Theatre and “The Jungle Book” at the Other Place, Stratford-Upon-Avon. His many TV credits include ‘Mike Leydon’ in “Coronation Street”, ‘DS Jason Wise’ in “Emmerdale” and ‘Richard’ in Disney’s “Life Bites”.
Kara Lane most recently appeared in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at the Derby Theatre and Mercury Theatre Colchester. Her previous theatre credits include: “The Sound of Music” at the Madinat Theatre, Dubai; “Oklahoma!”; “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Oliver!” on UK tour; “Lend Me a Tenor” at the Gielgud Theatre as well as the national tours of “Evita” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
Penelope Woodman’s recent theatre credits include: “Sons of the Desert” at the Royal Court Theatre Liverpool; the UK tour of “Birds of a Feather”; “Mamma Mia!” both at the Prince of Wales Theatre and on international tour, and the UK tour of “Never Forget”.
Wendy Ferguson most recently played the role of ‘Madame Thenardier’ in Les Misérables” at the Queens Theatre. Her other theatre credits include: ‘Carlotta’ in “The Phantom of The Opera” both at Her Majesty’s Theatre and at the 25th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and ‘Widow Corney’ in “Oliver!” at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Grainne Renihan’s theatre credits include: ‘Grizabella’ in “Cats” on UK Tour and in Hamburg; ‘Fantine’ in “Les Misérables” at the Palace Theatre; ‘Florence’ in “Chess” at the Prince Edward Theatre; ‘Guilietta’ in “Aspects of Love” at the Prince of Wales Theatre; ‘Ellen’ in “Miss Saigon” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and ‘Mary Magdalene’ in the European tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
Blair Anderson’s recent theatre credits include “If the Lights Are Too Bright” at the Ovalhouse Theatre; “In Lambeth” at the Southwark Playhouse, the Singapore tour of “Seussical” and the UK tour of “Blockbuster The Musical”.
The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of MARY POPPINS is brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film.
The stage production of MARY POPPINS is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and “Downton Abbey” creator, Julian Fellowes. It has a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.
The internationally renowned and multi award-winning creative team assembled for MARY POPPINS is led by stage and film director Richard Eyre. Co-direction and Choreography is by Matthew Bourne, with Co-choreography by Stephen Mear. Set and Costume Design is by Bob Crowley with Lighting Design by Natasha Katz, Sound Design by Paul Groothuis and Paul Gatehouse, with Orchestrations by William David Brohn. The International Tour of MARY POPPINS is Directed by James Powell with Original Choreography adapted by Geoffrey Garratt. Musical Supervision is by Stephen Brooker.
The stage production of MARY POPPINS originally opened in 2004 and ran in the West End for three years and over 1,250 performances. During this time it won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography and Best Set Design as well as the Evening Standard Award for Best Set Design and the Variety Club Award for Best Musical. The Broadway production ran for over six years where it won the Tony Award for Best Set Design. The show has subsequently played to great success in Holland and Mexico. It has toured Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, the UK, has been seen by over 11 million people and is currently playing in Stuttgart to huge acclaim.
MARY POPPINS 2016 – 2017 INTERNATIONAL TOUR DATES
WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER 2016 – SATURDAY 14 JANUARY 2017
WALES MILLENIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF
WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY – SUNDAY 19 MARCH 2017
THEATER 11, ZURICH
MONDAY 1 – WEDNESDAY 18 MAY 2017
DUBAI OPERA, DUBAI