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REVIEW: "Mary Poppins Jr" by Brisbane Junior Theatre

Date of Attendance: 5th April 2024 8pm

Cast: The Treacle Cast

I had the pleasure of attending the performance of ‘Mary Poppins Junior’ presented by Brisbane Junior Theatre, and I must say, it was a delightful experience filled with youthful talent and captivating energy.

The young performers were nothing short of charming and talented. Young Mary, Young Bert, and Young Miss Andrews were simply adorable, with Young Mary demonstrating a perfect accent and a stunning voice for her age. Mr. Banks was portrayed excellently by the lively Scott Tamblyn, who captured the firm yet endearing nature of the character. Mrs. Banks, portrayed by Charlotte Westaway, with her bell-like voice and graceful acting, effortlessly embodied the role of the mother. Jane and Michael, played by Scarlett Clyburn and Elijah Clyburn, were a standout duo. Their sibling dynamic added an authentic touch to their performances. Jane's sass and acting prowess were commendable, while Michael, adorned in the most adorable suit, delivered his lines brilliantly. Jacqui Trappett's portrayal of Mary was a highlight of the evening. Her voice, with its classical soprano sound and impeccable diction, gave me goosebumps multiple times. Her acting, capturing Mary's lines with charm and cheek, was equally impressive. Bert, portrayed by Alex Townsley, was outstanding. His perfect cockney accent and controlled voice truly embodied the character.

This was my first experience with the Junior version of ‘Mary Poppins’ and with Brisbane Junior Theatre productions, and I was thoroughly impressed. The production maintained a fast-paced rhythm while retaining all the beloved classic songs and capturing all essential elements of the story. The set design was truly impressive and immersive. The 3-dimensional setting, combined with projections, London landscapes, movable set pieces, and curtains filled with colour-changing 'stars,' effectively transported us into the enchanting world of the London skyline. The choreography was well-executed, making optimal use of the stage for lively dance numbers, particularly during 'Step in Time’, which showcased the dancers, including acro and tapping! The technical aspects of the production were also top-notch. The clear sound from the microphones, effective use of lighting, and wonderful costumes enhanced the overall experience.

The talent displayed by these young performers was exceptional. It's remarkable how well-rehearsed they were, considering they had only 4.5 days to prepare during the holiday workshop. Not a single mistake was noticeable throughout the show. The ensemble was utilised brilliantly, especially in numbers like 'Spoonful of Sugar’, 'Anything Can Happen,' and the harmonious 'Let's Go Fly a Kite’, showcasing the power of united voices. 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' was a true showstopper, complete with original choreography and infectious energy. 

Special mentions go to Ciarna Thorn as the bird lady, whose beautiful presence and voice did justice to my favourite song, 'Feed the Birds,' and Gabby Ayoub as Mrs. Corry, demonstrating stellar dramatic acting skills. Imogen Heath's portrayal of Miss Andrews was excellent for capturing the character's terrifying demeanour perfectly, with impeccable control over her vocals. I see a future actress in Imogen!

The enthusiasm of the 140 young performers (so I am told) was palpable, with each one giving 100% energy! This production was resounding success, thanks to the exceptional talent, meticulous preparation, and infectious energy of the entire cast and crew. They truly brought the magic of ‘Mary Poppins’ to life, leaving the audience tapping their feet and grinning from ear to ear. I look forward to more outstanding performances from this talented group in the future.


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