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Mary Poppins - July 2018

70It seems like the blink of an eye since our last Production of “Billy Elliot”. Lots of exciting discussions were had at the beginning of the academic year regarding what we were going to tackle next... it is always such a tricky decision, and one which needs to be right for all involved. 

I always like to provide our audience with a contrasting theatrical experience, “Mary Poppins” is so different to “Billy Elliot” and I was aware from an early stage the challenges ahead. One particular challenge was rehearsing with our largest ever cast, which comprises of approximately 90 students. Rehearsals were often very busy and hectic; however as a team working together we managed to choreograph multiple layers of movement into all the large ensemble numbers.

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Ultimately this was one of my aims for the show, to choreograph sequences of movement where the audience would constantly see and experience different stories. Similarly, sharp, clean lines of choreography which are performed in unison reflect the “Precision and Order” of Mr Banks’ existence.

The show has been created using a cyclical structure, where the start and end positioning of the cast is the same, this was done to communicate to the audience that Mary’s main objective had been met, but her magical work would now continue with another family who needed her wisdom and intervention. 

In order to cater for our huge cast, we needed to make the stage bigger, which created new challenges. We are also using a cyclorama (white backdrop) for the first time this year, which will be lit for certain scenes to capture various different locations in the show, and to create the appropriate mood.

“Mary Poppins” has been an absolute pleasure to direct. I can’t wait to see the cast, crew and musicians in action. They have all worked tirelessly to bring you this show.

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Photo credit: Robert Oram

I would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of the show; it really is a team effort. In particular staff who always go that extra mile in helping and the students for their commitment and energy towards the production. Likewise, parents who have been incredibly supportive and helpful, thank you!

I hope you enjoyed our Practically Perfect performances!

Miss Charlotte Oram

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