Beloved Australian entertainment icon Patti Newton will join the cast of Mary Poppins, taking her place on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral as Bird Woman for the Brisbane season of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s critically acclaimed new production.
Beginning her prolific career at four years old, Patti Newton’s work has spanned screen, stage, and radio, leading her to become one of Australia’s favourite entertainers. With theatre credits including The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Bye Bye Birdie, she is thrilled to be returning to the stage.
“I am honoured to be joining this wonderful company in such a special role,” shared Ms Newton. “Mary Poppins has such a beautiful place in the hearts of so many people and families around the world.”
“To get to be part of this cherished story, and perform alongside these incredibly talented people, is a genuine pleasure and I can’t wait to join them in Brisbane,” she said.
Co-creator Cameron Mackintosh is delighted that Patti Newton will be joining the impressive Australian company. “Patti is an incredibly talented and loved star; it is such a coup to have her returning to musical theatre in our new production,” he said.
The role has been performed by greats all over the world, currently Nancye Hayes in Sydney, Petula Clark in London and Debra Byrne in the previous Australian production. Patti’s performance will be a true gift for the people of Brisbane when Mary Poppins flies into town,” said Mr Mackintosh.
Since opening in May 2022, a new generation of Sydneysiders have joined the tens of millions of people worldwide who have experienced the wonder and magic of Mary Poppins live on stage.
Adapted from the original stories by Queensland-born author PL Travers and the treasured Disney film, the story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane is even more magical with dazzling choreography, incredible effects, and unforgettable songs.
Led by Stefanie Jones as Mary Poppins and Jack Chambers as Bert, the cast of Mary Poppins includes Tom Wren as George Banks, Lucy Maunder as Winifred Banks, Hannah Waterman as Mrs Brill, Gareth Isaac as Robertson Ay, Robert Grubb as Chairman and Admiral Boom, Chelsea Plumley as Miss Andrew, Cherine Peck as Mrs Corry, Lisa Sontag as Miss Lark, Kade Hughes as Neleus, Stephen Anderson as Park Keeper, and Andrew Broadbent as Policeman.
The company is completed by Hayden Baum, Cara Bessey, Katrina Bickerton, Molly Bugeja, Emily Casey, Ed Deganos, Joshua Gordon, Kimberley Hodgson, Gareth Jacobs, Hollie James, Sebastian Johnston, Genevieve Kingsford, Zoe Komazec, Sasha Lian-Diniz, Noah Missell, Ellie Nunan, Max Patterson, Jamie Reisin, Taylor Scanlan, Jacob Steen, Patrick Whitbread, and Paul Whiteley, with eight performers to share the roles of Jane and Michael Banks in Brisbane.
The original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman include the classic songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Feed the Birds, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. New songs and additional music are by the Olivier Award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Book is by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and this production is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.
This production of Mary Poppins has orchestrations by William David Brohn with dance and vocal arrangements by George Stiles. It has a new sound design by Paul Gatehouse and new lighting by Hugh Vanstone and Natasha Katz. Co-choreography is by Stephen Mear. The reimagined set and costume designs are by Bob Crowley.
Co-direction and choreography is by Matthew Bourne and direction by Richard Eyre. Mary Poppins is produced in Australia by Cameron Mackintosh, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, and Michael Cassel Group
“More enchanting than ever… With its colourful spectacle, toe-tapping tunes, first-rate production values and heart-warming story, with a sound moral message about priorities, love and family, Mary Poppins is an uplifting delight.” – Limelight
Mary Poppins continues at the Sydney Lyric Theatre until Sunday 9 October. Nancye Hayes will continue to perform the role of the Bird Woman for the remainder of the Sydney season. Tickets for Mary Poppins at Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre, QPAC go on sale today for performances commencing Saturday 22 October. For more information, visit: www.marypoppinsmusical.com.au for details.
Image: Patti Newton – photo by Sam Tabone