Review: Passmores Academy: Mary Poppins Jnr: Practically perfect in every way
Communities / Thu 13th Jul 2023 at 09:59am
Passmores Academy: Mary Poppins Jr: Wednesday July 12th, 2023
THIS was good. No. This was brilliant. We just don’t mean from an emotional point of view. Hey, the kids are putting on an end of year show. This was so technically proficient, so professional, from every single aspect.
Mary Poppins Jnr was also really technical. There were some scenes that could have gone so wrong but instead were brilliant. Spilt second timing that made memories that will last a lifetime!
Let us start with the actors. Maria Thira was a star as Mary Poppins. This is a difficult role because it actually isn’t very glamorous. Again, it is harder than you think but Maria commanded the stage at every point. She also sang beautifully and danced (including tap!).
One of the keys to the success was that everyone shared the stage and worked as a team. The wonderful Jane and Michael Banks (Sophia Franklin and Harrison Houghton) were a perfect example. They worked together with everyone. Harrison stole a lot of scenes but in a natural way.
Sam Howard put in a great performance as Bert. There is an understandable tendency for Berts to overact but Sam had such presence, such a good singer that again he was a vital part of the ensemble.
That also applies to actors such as Korban Doyle as George Banks and Karis Bailey as Winifred Banks. It is so important to play these roles with depth, meaning and maturity and they both did. They were so professional.
The actors also had great delivery. There is one thing having the lines. There is another delivering them. That was true of Mrs Brill played by Freya Nash. By playing it very straight, she was hilarious.
Everyone sang beautifully. Especially Madeleiene Hooker as the Bird Woman and her rendition of “Tuppence a Bag”. You could have heard a pin drop at the packed out theatre.
There were so many other actors Melanie Magalhaes as Miss Andrews, Sam Wix and Von Hussler, Jason Webb as John Northbrook, Eloisa Bellamy as Robertson Ay and Ethan Gilbert as the Chairman, who were an integral part to the success of the whole show
But the show went from three or four people on the stage to well over twenty for the big numbers. They were not only a feast of colour but were also so well sung, danced and choreographed.
The costumes were also fantastic.
This was not an easy stage to navigate but somehow they all did.
It is a cliche but there were so many numbers that simply stopped the show.
What was also heart-warming was the subliminal inclusivity. The whole dance sequence using sign language was a case in point. And can we give a special shout out to Able Joes-Adom. You were magic!
You could tell that the audience did not want this to finish. Especially the proud parents and grandparents.
And a special mention to the tearful fellow that got up on stage at the end (Hello Vic). Seriously, you cannot bottle what Vic Goddard has (just give him the budget to do it).
As I look at the programme I want to mention every member of the ensemble, every backroom person involved.
This was the stuff of rehearsal after rehearsal. The dedication from staff, students and parents was enormous.
We know many pupils have other commitments as well but they gave it their very all.
This reviewer is off to the Edinburgh Festival in August (the world’s largest arts festival). He is what they call an accredited journalist and so has access to all the actors and performers from around the world. But they will all be hard pressed to beat Mary Poppins Jnr by Passmores Academy.
This was practically perfect in every way.
I was there, it was fantastically performed, it brought a tear to my eye and I especially liked the rainbow bands being worn by a few cast members, as a member of the LGBTQ community, it was a lovely touch and a slick talented performance, well done to all
Wonderful show all cast& helpers were fantastic a special well done to our great grandson ❤️ xx
So proud of my daughter and of all those that took that stage. All so professional and talented. Xx