LAST Friday night, Leongatha Lyric Theatre opened one of the best loved, most challenging stage musicals in the book, and their production of Mary Poppins turned out to be ‘practically perfect in every way’.
Tickets are selling fast for the remaining nine performances; those with an interest in seeing this show should move quickly to secure what is already the hottest ticket in town.
The star of the show was without doubt Kerryn Lockhart, in the title role of Mary Poppins, but there are many, many fine performances besides, most notably from two of the youngest members of the cast, Jessica Geyer and Coby Fowles, in the key roles of Jane Banks and Michael Banks.
A highly experienced, former professional performer in musical theatre and opera at the highest level, Kerryn recently moved to the local area and has since added her considerable talents to Wonthaggi’s JC Superstar and Pippin, now also in Leongatha’s Mary Poppins.
It would be hard to imagine anyone else more perfectly suited to the role. Kerryn IS Mary Poppins.
The highlights were many from an exceptional cast; Adrian Darakai plays a delightful, endearing Bert with voice, acting and dancing skills to suit.
The Banks children, Michael and Jane, played by Coby Fowles and Jessica Geyer, were perfectly cast and didn’t miss a beat throughout, working particularly well together and with Mary.
Steve Howe offered the range of emotions as their father George and Leanne Horn survived a crackly microphone to deliver a strong performance as their mother Winifred.
The house servants Christine Skicko as Mrs Brill and Daniel Hansen as the man servant Robertson Ay developed their characters superbly and the veteran, Glenn Turner, led the bankers’ ensemble with his usual madcap aplomb.
There were numerous cameo performances with Judy Barnard as the Bird Woman and Michelle Dal Masetto as the wicked Miss Andrew the standouts.
Judy displayed her award-winning abilities in an emotion charged ‘feed the birds’ scene, while Michelle was simply superb as the scary governess; her opening night all the more meritorious after attending her late father, John Van Wamel’s funeral earlier in the day.
Yasmine Watsford as Mrs Corry in the iconic Supercal scene, Noel Stringer with a fine solo as Mr Northbrook, and Michael Hogan the Park Keeper; they all demonstrated a firm grasp of the character and contributed strongly to the overall impact.
The dancers, especially in the wonderfully choreographed ‘Step In Time’ number were a real highlight and the general ensemble lively and committed.
The small number of technical issues which floated in on opening night didn’t detract in any way from the enjoyment of the show and were soon ironed out at performances which followed on Saturday and Sunday.
Leongatha Lyric Theatre legend, Don McIntyre summed it up:
“I don’t usually go for the sugary sweet musicals like Sound of Music but that was the best, most professional standard show I have seen in 40 years from Lyric Theatre. The energy of the cast was wonderful to see and I wish them all the best for their season ahead,” Mr McIntyre said.
Take the kids or take yourself but don’t miss it, bookings http://www.lyrictheatre.net.au/
Lyric’s Mary Poppins a super show