- Theatre review: Back to the Future!, Manchester Opera House - 12 March, 2020
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- Shrek The Musical – Manchester Palace Theatre – Review - 18 January, 2018
You know, me and Mary Poppins have a lot in common. We both look banging in an overcoat, we can both cram big things into tiny places and we’re both practically perfect in every way. C’mon, let’s be real.
Mary Poppins, who I’m going to call Mazza P for short because she’s a total LAD, is the woman, the nanny, the legend created by P. L. Travers to come down from the sky, show people that they’re terrible and then stand by and watch them be better whilst feeling super accomplished and secure in her egotistical view of herself.
Practically perfect, psssshyeah, carpet bag, amirite gays?
I’m kidding, Mazza is everything I want to be in life. And her stage adaptation is currently at Manchester’s Palace Theatre until 5 March and honestly, I implore you to go! If you treat yourself to one thing this year, treat yourself to seeing Mary Poppins.
From the very beginning when Burt’s chilling on someone’s roof singing about the winds in the East, to the last second when Mary literally flies out over the crowd and up into the theatre hall, I was beaming and smiling and laughing and crying.
Honestly, when she flew over the crowd I was in the stalls and I didn’t see where she went except up, so for all I know she could be stuck in a tree somewhere because I don’t think an umbrella would have a very good navigational system.
Zizi Strallen filled the very sensible shoes of Mary and she was absolutely stunning. I want her to be my nanny and sing to me and clean up all the mess my flatmate leaves with snaps of her fingers. Matt Lee filled the soot-covered chimney sweep boots of Bert and he was absolutely sublime as well.
During ‘Step in Time’, when he’s showing off his acrobatic skills up on the smog-filled rooftops of London, he literally walked up the wall and tap danced on the ceiling whilst upside down – this show, man, help me!
The Banks were played by Milo Twomey and Rebecca Lock. Milo was the perfect miserable asshat husband who cares about order and precision, and had the fun beaten out of him as a child by his godawful nanny, Miss Andrew (Penelope Woodman).
And Rebecca… Oh, Rebecca, you were absolutely sublime as George’s put upon and totally oppressed diamond of a wife. She was my instant MVP. She sparkled more than anyone else for me. Her reactions, mannerisms, delivery of her lines, the way she held her skirt so she didn’t trip over it, everything – flawless. I believed every second of it. And ‘Being Mrs. Banks’ legit touched me in the soul. Incredible. I can’t praise her enough but she’s going to get a tweet once I’ve finished writing this. If you read this Rebecca, be my friend, please?
My close second for MVP was Wendy Ferguson, Mrs. Brill: 17 Cherry Tree Lane’s housekeeper. She was hilarious and literally like so many of my friends. A total soldier who everyone dumps their crap on, but she takes no shit. She also reacted the exact same way I would if I broke a priceless heirloom – a high pitched squeal from the back of her throat which absolutely killed me! And everyone else in the audience! Massive laughs for Mrs. Brill! Bravo! I liked her a lot.
Lucy Simmonds and Lewis Fernée played Jane and Michael. They were awesome tearaways! They reminded me of my cousins who are the same ages and I couldn’t stop smiling and seeing them on stage!
And watching Lewis dance… It was too much for me! He was ADORABLE in sync with the rest of the cast during ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’! A tiny adult spelling out the biggest word you ever heard with his tiny hands and tiny hand movements! It was everything! TOO MUCH FOR ME!
Everything else was amazing: music, sets, choreo, the lot. I’m so excited about this show! I’m definitely seeing it again!
If you would like to see my reaction in video form I also made a video that’s on my YouTube channel because of how much I loved it and it can’t all be expressed through typing words. My language is a lot more colourful in the video, but once you see the show you’ll understand my excitement and potty mouth.