The magic of Mary Poppins has well and truly arrived in New Zealand and the opening night in Auckland was nothing short of spectacular .
Arriving to a red carpet, the Civic Theatre looked primed for a special night and if dancing statues, bottomless handbags and magical umbrellas aren’t special then I don’t know what is.
Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit musical brings us this much loved story which has been brilliantly adapted from the books by P.L Travers and the classic 1964 Disney film.
Most of us will have memories of Mary Poppins from the film with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke so this production will always have those to live up to.
However the stage production, first opened in 2004, has proven to be a worldwide success and now it’s New Zealand’s turn.
The story of the magical nanny who comes to help the Banks family at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane features many of the films classic songs by the Academy Award winning Sherman Brothers, as well as additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
From the moment the curtain goes up you enter a spellbinding world. I believe the first gasp was at the wonderful set design which allows pieces to open, close, slide and lower from the roof. It reminded me of reading a popup book as a child and how you felt you could just jump inside. I was particularly impressed by the bank scene.
It’s wasn’t long before the toe tapping began as I was swept away by the infectious music that seems to be somehow an innate part of childhood.
The choreography by Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear is of course magnificent and all perfectly executed by this immensely talented cast. One particular number deserves a special mention for it’s especially complex routine, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is the best musical dance number I’ve seen!
Simon Burke and Pippa Grandison as George and Winifred Banks
The Banks family tell a story of love, struggles and hope depicted perfectly by the forever cheerful Mrs Winifred Banks ( Pippa Grandison) and the more stiff and authoritative Mr George Banks (Simon Burke). Their story of financial, work and family troubles is a timeless yet modern one. The younger cast members Hattie Hook and Ky Baldwin, playing Jane and Michael Banks, were very accomplished performers and did an amazing job in these demanding roles proving themselves to be consummate professionals.
To read the full review and others like it check out my site Keeping Up With NZ!
Have a look at our pics from opening night on our Facebook page.
Well it’s almost spring time and definitely time for an update!
I have been busy building the new brand Keeping Up With NZ a new one stop culture shop for New Zealand.
I have been overwhelmed by the response and interest in this new site so I am so pleased with the results so far. It’s is so nerve racking trying new things but the buzz when they go well is indescribable.
Since I launched the new site in July I have featured a variety of events from the NZ International Film Festival to various theatre productions and other performing arts. Although I was covering events on my blog Keeping Up With The Grid I really wanted to make a New Zealand focused website and create a collaborate space for creatives.
I am letting KUWNZ grow organically and have been pleased with the results through social media channels so far. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter but we have yet to add content to our Youtube channel so watch this space!!
As we build our brand and relationships we hope to bring our audience lots of variety and lots more content. Although many think that this country moves pretty slowly I have to say that funnily enough it really is hard to Keep Up With NZ! Therefore we are always on the look out for other arts and culture enthusiast around the country who would like to join our little collective of culture vultures.
If you are interested then please do get in touch here.
So as we spring forward I can’t wait to see what the next season has to offer us.
Thanks for all the support so far!
Want to get your boogie on for FREE this weekend? Well Keeping Up With NZ are making that happen!!
We have two double passes to give away for Regrooved NZ weekender. (One for Rakinos and one for Leigh Sawmill Cafe)
The number one party rocker Slynk is back for two shows in New Zealand.
Australia’s Ghetto Funk producer/DJ will be at the Leigh Sawmill Cafe this Friday 31 August and Rakinos on Saturday 1 September.
Anyone that has experienced a Slynk set in the past will tell you it’s simply not to be missed. Across the board phat funk floor fillers, special edits, chunky hip hop, drum and bass, breaks and a whole lot more expertly smashed together in his distinctive style.
To be in with a chance of winning a double pass to either of these gigs simply name one of the venues Slynk will rock the turntables for your dancing pleasure in Auckland.
Enter here! with the subject ‘Slynk’ along with your answer in the message box and please state which event you want to attend.
To get yourself in the mood listen or download to the REGROOVED Takeover of last week’s ILL BEHAVIOUR Radio Show on Base FM. DJ Beatmaster and special guest Funk Ferret (REGROOVED NZ) play Hiphop,Funk, Mash-ups, Nu Funk Breaks and much more!!!
Noiseworks Entertainment in association with Ghetto Funk present Regrooved Weekender feat Slynk.
Leigh Sawmill: Fri 31 Aug - Slynk (Aus) w Zane Tee, Adam O (AV set), Funk Ferret, DJ Alias & Randomplay
Rakinos: Sat 1 Sept - Slynk w Randomplay, DJ Alias, Adam O (AV set), Funk Ferret & MC Mikey Rockwell