Mary Poppins on Stage- new info!

Sir Richard Eyre to Direct Stage Mary Poppins
By Andrew Gans
21 Mar 2003

The creative team has been set for the upcoming stage production of Mary Poppins.

London?s Daily Mail reports that the joint venture between Cameron Mackintosh and Disney Theatricals will feature direction by Sir Richard Eyre, a book by Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes (?Gosford Park?) and additional tunes (supplementing the original film score by Robert and Richard Sherman) by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Stiles and Drewe are the British songwriting team who composed the score for the Olivier Award-winning musical Honk!.

The London paper also reports that rehearsals may begin in January 2004 for a West End debut. A New York production is also likely. A spokesperson for Disney Theatrical was unable to confirm details of the production at this time.

?Mary Poppins? will mark the first pairing of two theatre giants, Disney Theatricals, represented on Broadway with the long-running hits The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Aida; and Cameron Mackintosh, who has produced the three longest-running shows in Broadway history, Cats, Les Mis?rables and The Phantom of the Opera. It's a necessary arrangement, too, as Disney holds the rights to the film's classic songs, while Mackintosh has the rights to the original book penned by P. L. Travers.

Sir Richard Eyre, who received a 2002 Tony Award nomination for Best Director for his work on the Broadway revival of The Crucible, is currently represented on The Great White Way with the British import Vincent in Brixton. Some of his numerous other directorial credits include Amy?s View, The Judas Kiss, Stanley, Skylight, Racing Demon, Indiscretions, Arcadia, An Inspector Calls, Carousel, The Grapes of Wrath, The Secret Rapture and Ghetto.

The beloved 1964 Disney film "Mary Poppins" starred Julie Andrews in the title role opposite the Bert of Dick Van Dyke. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the movie boasted a score by the Sherman brothers (Richard and Robert) and featured such tunes as "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Jolly Holiday," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Feed the Birds," "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Let's Go Fly a Kite." Nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture, the film garnered Oscars for Julie Andrews as well as those for Best Special Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; Best Score; and Best Song ("Chim Chim Cher-ee").

the article can also be found here:


Julian Fellowes was on TV over here the other day, and was expressing how excited he is too be working with Disney and Cameron Mackintosh on this project. I believe his script is very near completion now (or already is). How appropriate that possibly the UK's finest scriptwriter will forefront this exciting project.

PS Sir Richard Eyre is also a fantastic Director - an Inspector Calls was superb (lacking only Alastair Sim!)


Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

I think it is a shame that the Sherman Bros. are not writing the new additional material.

I wonder: were they not interested or were they not asked?

Their songs were at the heart of the Disney feature and with Chitty-Chitty-Bang they just proved in the West End that they are able to work with success on a transfer of one of their movie-musicals to the stage.



Active Member
Yes, you would think especially after "Chitty" that the Shermans could easily write a few more songs for "Poppins". I'm sure they had unused material that they could have re-introduced. I hate it when new songwriters are brought in to write for existing shows or films; it never has the same feel as the original material. God forbid what they're going to do to "Pinocchio"...


Active Member
Yes, but that's completely different. "Mary Poppins" isn't something that's been an continuing project for the last 50 years. Baseball is always going on every year, so it's expected that players retire. "Mary Poppins" was a film made once. It's not a "Fantasia 200" or anything like that, so why should composers be changed out?

Also, I would not compare the composers to baseball players. I would compare the actors to players. The compsers are more like the rules in baseball. Change the rules and you have a completely different game...
Maybe Carmeron Mackintosh doesn't like "The Eyes of Love" Same as Julie Andrews.
Just like Bud Selig doesn't like Pete Rose.. unless Visa wants him to schell for a game.


Although I agree to a degree that the Sherman's should be involved (or at least asked... maybe they were... who knows?) I have just been listening to B&TB Broadway & LK Broadway and I truly believe that If I can't Love Her and Endless Night (respectively) are the high points in both shows.
So... I have faith.


... certainly we shouldn't judge the new material before we heared it - and as my question was meant to indicate and as you, Derek, pointed out also we don't know wether the Sherman Bros. declined or were not asked in the first place.

But I do not fully get your point, Derek, when you say:
I have just been listening to B&TB Broadway & LK Broadway and I truly believe that If I can't Love Her and Endless Night (respectively) are the high points in both shows