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Mary Poppins

Prince Edward Theatre

Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 4HS 0844 482 5151

Mary Poppins
  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
  • Ticket prices

Ends 8th January 2023.

Young Jane and Michael Banks are caught between a financier father and suffragette mother. Their parents' urgent need for a new approach to childcare is met by a practically perfect (in every way) new nanny who literally flies into their lives in response to a badly worded advertisement. The children's world is transformed by a lady for whom every day is a jolly holiday, who takes her work with sugar, hangs out with chimney sweeps and can say "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" while sober.
 A revival of the 2004 stage version of P. L. Travers's books. Containing many of the popular Sherman Brothers songs from the 1964 Disney Movie, plus new material added by Stiles and Drewe.

(seen at the afternoon preview performance on 9th November 2019).

The monkey missed this show first time round, so has nothing to compare it to. It thus came totally fresh to it – bar the “Forbidden Broadway” version...

It’s nowhere near as bad as those Broadway fools make out. In fact, it’s really rather good for the most part.

First, it must be understood clearly that this is a 5 star cast. In order of stellareness, we  can put first Petula Clark (Bird Woman). Her few minutes on stage are the absolute highlight of the show, perfect in performance, delivery, writing and meaning.

Next up, Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins) is welcome to tuck the monkey into bed any time (did it say that out loud?). Seriously, no “scared actress flies” (as “Forbidden Broadway” has it) here. She makes a fairly cold character glow, her renowned singing, dancing and acting skills given full reign. Oh, and she plays comedy as well – a lovely kitchen sequence (take a bow, too, gormless Jason Kajdi as Earnest).

Charlie Stemp (Bert) is the perfect foil, and in his own right has matured into a lively “triple threat” with a growing command of character and an unselfish chemistry with his ensemble.

Final trio of stand-out performances are from Joshua Denyer (Neleus) – if you understand ballet, you will know why, superb; and Adelaide Barham (Jane Banks) and brother Gabriel Payne (Michael Banks). The young duo have a bright future ahead – Barham already has the rhythm of a dancer and musical theatre actor, Payne could well end up a fine comic actor also able to takle large musical show roles... Stemp should watch his back, this is the competition.

Large ensemble numbers demonstrate just why the rest of the cast got their jobs, as the energy and precision were high – director Richard Eyre and choreographer Matthew Bourne always inventive and innovating each scene.

Bob Crowley’s original set designs have been modified, and frankly do look a little low-tech for the West End, and truthfully Paul Kieve and Jim Steinmeyer’s magical effects don’t work for the first few rows – neither does the flying, come to that. It works, but it’s all rather provincial-panto visible, if the monkey is honest.

The show itself sometimes hits that seasonal level too. Certainly too long, with some scenes there just for the new songs – cutting them and getting on with the original movie songs would work equally well.

This is as show for older children – at least 8 or 9 and regular theatregoers, and also more for adults. Seldom dull for long, fortunately, but the monkey can’t help wondering if there is an even stronger show in there somewhere to match the talents of an outstanding cast.



Legacy reader reviews

Mary Poppins last night (25th October 2019). My daughter Freya wanted to see this. I found the first act a little slow (apart from the great Supercalifrag… number). But it really took off in Act Two and we all felt it was worth going for the amazing Step in Time number – no spoilers, but it is jawdropping… Very sweet of them to use Petula Clark as the birdwoman, but we thought she looked and sounded very fragile. What a star Charlie Stemp is. We came out feeling happy, which doesn’t always happen, so that says something about this show. We sat in Stalls H 31-35 (as we needed an aisle seat). Legroom was a little tight but acceptable. Good access to the ladies’ loos! Not a great rake so a bit of head swivelling needed but nothing major.

Attended the evening performance on Thursday 6th November 2019. What can I say other than it's practically perfect in everyway. Everyone of the cast was brilliant but Charlie Stemp was outstanding. I think he must of been born to play Bert. You can't beat a theatre full of (mainly) adults stood at the end of a performance singing and clapping along to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious with beaming grins.

Sat in Loge 6. You do miss a little bit of stage in seat 2 but, slight spoiler alert, Mary flies close enough to touch at the end so well worth the £50 we paid.

I bagged a front row centre Grand Circle seat (A15) for the press night of ‘Mary Poppins’ - most of the Circle got released for sale about a week in advance with the centre block at £47.50, then after checking the site a couple of times I saw they’d all been cut to £25 so I pounced! (Guess they wanted to make sure of a full house for opening night)

I know your site says the legroom is pretty dreadful up there, especially in row A, so I was prepared for that, but was pleasantly surprised - obviously I couldn’t stretch my legs out but didn’t feel uncomfortable despite each half being about 70/75 minutes. The view from my seat was brilliant - being row A there were no heads in my way, the rail is low so doesn’t intrude on view, and it didn’t feel horrendously high - I could see everything perfectly. Plus you get a brilliant view of Mary making her final exit when she flies up to a closed off / darkened area on the left hand side (as you look at stage) of upper circle where they’ve taken some slip seats out so she can land and slip through a door. I’d happily have paid the full £45-50 to sit here.

As for the show, it’s wonderful! I loved the warm fuzzy feeling hearing those songs again gives you, Petula Clark sounded amazing and did a beautifully mournful Feed The Birds, and Claire Machin was hilarious as Mrs Brill. Zizi and Charlie are both perfectly cast as the leads.

Loge 7, overall an excellent view. A little side on but not too much. You miss a corner of the stage but I’ve noticed these seats  are occasionally being sold for second price. Well worth it for that price, decent for full (non premium.). However, If the loge seats are what you want, I would recommend sitting at the opposite sides. A couple of illusions and entrances were slightly spoilt by being able to see into the wings, this would be less of a problem on the opposite side of the theatre. Having seen the show so many times it didn’t spoil it for us but if everything was new it wouldn’t have been ideal. 

My daughter bought us tickets for Mary Poppins as a Christmas Present and she did use theatremonkey before she purchased the tickets!!….

I have seen a lot of musicals but I have to say this one is top of the list for all round entertainment and good feel factor.

We were seated in Y21 and 20, seats were excellent, great view straight to the stage and the stalls are ramped so well you never lost the view of the stage even when there was stuff going on at the rear of the stage. This theatre unlike others has no pillars in the stalls so most of the seats bar a few on the very far edges would be fine I think.

Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins captured the spirit of the part, all the little nuances and oh her timing was spot on especially with the two children….the audience totally connected with her the minute she stepped on stage.

Charlie Stemp as Bert was fabulous, utterly charming and a bit of a rogue, played this part exceptionally well.

The set design took our breath away, with a click of Mary Poppins fingers, lights went on and off, the doors shut, and the magic was present. The movement of the house back and forth was just genius and so well done.

I won’t go into detail about the extra special moments because I don’t want to ruin the surprise for people. Enough to say that they were extraordinary and out of this world.

Highlights for us were Jolly Holiday, A Spoonful of Sugar (with the exploding icing!!), Feed the Birds (with the wonderful Petula Clark), Let’s go fly a kite, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!

Tears were shed and boy did we laugh. This show resonated with me because as a child I would watch it with my late parents. My daughters watched it with them also so this was a trip down memory lane. A night where we went back to a time of happy times and I think looking at the other faces in the audience it was the same for most.

The moral of the story is timeless. A story of love, magic and hope. Just fabulous.

We will go back again and see it.

Mary Poppins has a special place in my heart.  It was the first film I was taken to see at the cinema. So I'm wary of any recreation/new staging (though I did enjoy Mary Poppins Returns).

No need to worry with this show.  It is - excuse the pun - practically perfect.  The staging (nice touch topping the Orchestra rail to make it look like the fencing in Cherry Tree Lane) is a lovely mix of simple, but with detail when needed.  The weather effects are well done. The lighting switches from light to dark effectively.

The story is, maybe, slightly slower in the first act.  But - even with a story as well known as this one - the scene needs to be set.  And this isn't a slavish recreation of the film.  But for me the pace never flagged.

The entire cast give fantastic performances and are clearly giving their all (and, to me, it seems like they're genuinely enjoying themselves).  Well done to all of them for pulling off the amazing (and complex) dance number "Step In Time"... and remaining frozen in place while the audience exploded into huge and lengthy applause!

But I do have to give special praise...

If someone was born to play Mary Poppins, it is Zizi Strallen.  Forget 'practically' perfect, she was perfection.  From her first appearance (HOW did they do that) to her exit (WOW, that was spectacular) she was just entrancing.  It was those little moments when the prim and proper facade was allowed to slip, just a smidge, that were just wonderful (there were a lot of damp eyes in the audience when Michael said "I love you Mary Poppins" and she let the mask slip for the tiniest of moments).

I have been watching musical theatre for many years.  I have finally seen the perfect leading lady performance.  Any aspiring actresses, go and watch Zizi in this role, it is a masterclass.

And hasn't Charlie Stemp matured into a very fine leading man?  Loved the whole cheeky chappy bit, with the genuine warmth beneath (his scene with Mr Banks was moving).  the chemistry between him and Zizi was wonderful to watch (their last moments together are tender, charming and utterly believable), they make a fantastic team.

Back with the show, I do have just the one niggle: That dance sequence when the toys come alive?  Bit scary for small kids perhaps.  I could have lived without it.  I was glad the other darker scene (the "Battle of the Nannies") was included though.  That took Mary to a rather darker place, balancing the light with dark.

Mary Poppins is a joyous production.  Funny, moving, filled with amazing effects and tricks that had people gasp (in Row A we could see how some were done, but even we were stunned at a few), the standing ovation was fully deserved.

This is a must-see piece of musical theatre.

Later visit: Stalls K11 and 12. Good distance from the stage and very central - you can take it all in, but are still close enough to appreciate the trickery (when impossibly large items appear from Mary’s bag).  Good legroom and decent comfort levels (barely a fidget).  You also benefit from the aisle behind this row, meaning no-one sat behind you.  But the seat stagger is minimal (there is a stagger, but it could be more pronounced).  Average height patrons shouldn’t cause too much of a problem, but anyone tall will block your sightline. I was lucky and had an empty seat in front, but Laura moved to (an also empty) K10 as said tall patron’s charming little boy (so small he had TWO boosters, and SO well behaved, I couldn’t help but smile when he was captivated by the kites in “Lets Go Fly a Kite”) gave plenty of clear view ahead.”

Bob Pickett.

This was another show we both really enjoyed. There were two cast changes that evening: Mr Banks was played by Mark Goldthorp instead of Joseph Millson, and Neleus was played by a different actor (I don’t know who) instead of Joshua Denyer. I was a bit upset at missing the latter as you especially praised him in your review. There was another reason I missed him. Did you know that Joshua was one of the Billys in the original Australian production of Billy Elliot The Musical? I had been told by a fan to look out for him. Perhaps another time. Jane and Michael Banks were played by Imogen Bourn and Joseph Duffy respectively. Coincidentally I was sitting next to Joseph’s dad! Every single performer was spot on and it was lovely to see Petula Clark as the Bird Woman. I felt quite in awe being in her presence. You’re right, a 5 star cast!

Now, I must mention our seats stalls F3 and 4. We both thought they were excellent value being £30 cheaper than those next to us. You had a very good view of the stage only missing a little of the edge of stage left and I don’t think you missed very much of the action here. The equivalent applies on the opposite side of the auditorium. From row F you couldn’t quite see the floor of the stage but that didn’t really matter. One good thing I must point out was that both of our seats had excellent legroom and were quite comfortable. Definitely “green” seats in our opinion!

24th February 2022. Finally got there after the 'will they or won't they' chaos before Christmas. Excellent show, the staging was outstanding, not very often when you have seen a lot of big shows that you have a 'wow' moment for what is achieved on stage but it certainly happened a few times yesterday. (step in time in particular) I really hope it is filmed in its current run for cinema or one of the streaming services. We had a full cast I believe, which was good for the mid week matinee.

Stalls V 20-22 - Excellent view from these seats, a steal at £36 in these days of insane West End prices (especially as it was half term). Very good rake both in terms of height and the offset seating. For a big show like Poppins I would not want to be more than 4-5 rows further forward at any price, or you start getting too close to fully apricate the full scale of it IMO (and the rake is flatter). Good legroom, even for 6ft 4, the seats are not very wide though generally, bit snug. Very nice theatre and outstanding show. 


Dress circle seats J 13 to 15. These are central dress circle and give a clear view of the whole stage. Poor legroom though, I was very envious of rows L&M at the sides which had masses of extra room and seemed a reasonable trade for a slight overhang from the upper circle. Maybe a case of the grass is greener, but I would certainly consider it.  I didn't sit in the Upper Circle mainly because room is so tight up there, but I wouldn't consider this to be much better.

Stalls H35: Nice view, a little to the side but close. Tons of legroom!

Stalls G11: Great view and good legroom. Day seat for £30.

These seats are quite unique and extremely good value. Rather than the conventional side by side configuration, they are positioned one behind the other facing the stage. They are non - moveable but all offer ample legroom and space for bags and with a very slight lean forward, an extremely good clear view of the stage (minus the very rear stage right where to be frank, nothing actually happens). This is the third time we have sat here, prices are always good compared with the rest of the circle and stalls - plus for 'Mary Poppins' provide a unique up close and personal experience at the end. Highly recommended.

Not practically perfect but pretty close.

Who doesn’t know the story of Mary Poppins? Here the story is slightly different to the film in some ways with some additional songs added but essentially if you’ve seen the film then you get the idea.

At our performance the roles of Mary Poppins and Bird Woman were played by alternates, but this was one of those occasions where you realise that star names make no difference to the enjoyment as both were superb.

Spectacular dance numbers and set pieces, perfectly timed comedy moments, clever effects and illusions and even a degree of pathos from a cast who obviously know their stuff make for a generally enjoyable show and enchanting night out plus the ending is nothing short of magical.

The one thing lacking (for a Disney Show) was the “Wow” factor. The sets, although perfectly serviceable, seemed a touch basic and a little tired and as when we saw ‘Aladdin’ at the same theatre a few years ago rather gave the overall impression of an up market pantomime rather than a West End Extravaganza.

As this production closes in a few months we would suggest a visit if you have not been before (especially with kids as our 11 and 9 year old Granddaughters loved it - “Apart from Six this is my favourite Granddad”!) but for us it’s a case of yes, we really enjoyed it but once was enough.

A View From The Stalls.











The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Monday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 7pm
Thursday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm

Runs 2 hours 50 minutes approximately. 


During the "Holiday Season" from 12th December 2022 until 1st January 2023, the above schedules will vary.
Charts showing scheduled performances during this period are available using the links below:

For Monday 12th December 2022 until Sunday 19th December 2022, click here.
For Monday 19th December 2022 until Sunday 25th December 2022, click here.
For Monday 26th December 2022 until Sunday 1st January 2023, click here

Extra performance: 2.30pm on 2nd January 2023.

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

Prince Edward Theatre Prices Seating Plan
All performances except Wednesday Evenings and Saturday Afternoons


Prince Edward Theatre Prices Seating Plan
Wednesday Evenings


Prince Edward Theatre Prices Seating Plan
Saturday Afternoons

DAY SEATS: The theatre are offering £30 "day seats," located at venue discretion, for all performances. Released for the performance on that day, first-come, first-served at 10.30am on the theatre's website at Maximum 2 tickets per customer.

Some details may change. The monkey will update as available.

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