Theatre review: Mary Poppins, Bradford Alhambra

Step In Time. Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins and the company.
Step In Time. Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins and the company.
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She’s the ‘Practically Perfect’ nanny who believes a ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ is all it takes to help the medicine go down.

And as Zizi Strallen’s Mary Poppins makes her first magical appearance on the stage it’s clear to see she has a huge task on her hands to support the dysfunctional Banks family.

Playing The Game - Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins.

Playing The Game - Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins.

Father George is too preoccupied with his work in the City to give his family the affection they crave for.

His obnoxious children, Jane and Michael, have a penchant for scaring off their nannies.

Meanwhile, George’s wife Winifred dreams of her acting days but is left contemplating what role she should play in the family.

As their latest nanny leaves the Banks family they are left wondering who will answer their cries for help.

But as the wind changes direction and Mary Poppins breezes into their home they are set to enjoy a breathtaking spell of self-discovery.

From dancing in the park to jumping across the city’s roof-top skylines with tap-dancing chimney sweeps the performance rattles through the classic Sherman brother’s tunes the Walt Disney classic is renowned for.

There are also a few new musical numbers thrown in for good measure including Mary Poppin’s theme ‘Practically Perfect’.

But when it came to the applause of the evening there was only one song that would get the entire audience clapping along - ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’.

The energetic number combined with its fast-paced choreography was one of the highlights of the evening.

The Disney and Cameron Mackintosh production originally opened in 2004 and ran on the West End where it scooped a handful of awards including the Olivier Award for Best Set Design.

And it is clear to see why as the giant household at the centre of the story opens up to the audience like a huge dolls house. It was a marvellous touch to such a spell-binding performance.

Strallen was fantastic as the no-nonsense nanny who never explains anything on request.

Matt Lee’s portrayal of Bert was fabulous and he boasts some brilliant dance moves. Watch out for his upside down dance routine.

Musicals are certainly proving to be a draw for the Bradford Alhambra.

It has already boasted staging Disney’s smash-hit musical The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Wicked and now Mary Poppins runs until December 10 with its only Yorkshire date as part of its nationwide tour.

It will be interesting to see what magical treats the theatre has in store next for families.

Peter Kay announces five extra UK dates including another Yorkshire night at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena

VIDEO: Peter Kay adds more UK tour dates including extra Yorkshire nights at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena