Zizi Strallen will play Mary Poppins and Matt Lee will play Bert in the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins, opening at Leicester Curve on 12 October 2015. Full casting will be announced shortly.
Zizi Strallen is currently starring as Lana in Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man. She was most recently seen in the West End in Cats and the multi award-winning Merrily We Roll Along. Her other West End credits include Rock of Ages, Dirty Dancing and 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 played the role of Bert in Mary Poppins when the show opened in Australia, 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. Lee was also a permanent member of the judging panel for Australia’s So You Think You Can Dance.
Cameron Mackintosh said: “It’s hard to believe that it is already 11 years since Mary Poppins first landed on the London stage. My goodness… time flies even faster than our beloved Nanny! I’m delighted to be bringing her back to the UK and for the first time to Dublin, after spreading her magic around the world. Since we originally staged the production we have found even more magical ways to stage this timeless tale. I’m also thrilled to have cast yet another of the extraordinarily talented Strallen family in the role of Mary and pair her with one of the most brilliant Berts we have been fortunate to find worldwide. I know Zizi and Matt will be practically perfect in every way and a show-stopping tour de force.”
The stage version of Mary Poppins, adapted from the stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film, is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes. It has a score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier Award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
The 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 orchestrations by William David Brohn. The international tour of the show is directed by Anthony Lyn and 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 more than 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 US, the UK, has been seen by more than 11 million people and is currently breaking box office records in Vienna.
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