Last week I had the immense pleasure of attending Marry Poppins, the musical, at the Civic Theatre in Auckland.
I haven't been to a lot of musicals in this country and the ones I have attended have been lovely, but not particularly amazing. I guess this is because our best local talent looks abroad to find paid work and companies from abroad rarely visit New Zealand due to limited profit potential vs logistics.
So it was with some delight that I found myself absorbed in a top quality musical within the bounds of my little city, albeit provided by a company of Australians.
The story of Mary Poppins, in my opinion, isn't one of the strongest out there and so it relies on musical delivery and visual presentation to entertain to its fullest potential. And this is where this version really stood out.
Already within the fantastical confines of the Civic, the stage was an incredible, wheeling, revolving, transforming hub of activity that surely took every member of the audience convincingly into imaginary England. I won't give away any spoilers on here, but it's safe to say that the company of actors explored almost every possible way to use the Civic's theatrical space.
The delivery of the story itself was impressive as well - especially since we were informed before the show began that, due to an injury, we were to have an understudy play as Mary Poppins. If they hadn't told us a thing, I would never have guessed this was the case.
Apart from a few lapses in accents (personal gripe I know), the company performed flawlessly.
It was a very entertaining evening and one I would certainly recommend for all ages.
I believe the show runs until mid-December, so there's plenty of time to check it out and soak up a rare world class musical in New Zealand.