Image: Fiona Toal of Moments Photography
I have always wanted to see the stage production of Mary Poppins and I got to see Highfield Middle School’s own adaptation. Erase any idea of what you’re typical school play might be like because HMS is not like that at all.
Almost as if I were watching a professional theatre company, the performance of the pupils was of high quality.
And I have to admit that I have never seen the West End adaptation of Mary Poppins so I was unsure of how similar it would be in comparison to the film version. Minus the animation, it is quite similar bar the added new song or two plus an evil nanny.
Highfield Middle School had a changeable cast, meaning on different days- pupils got a turn at playing a part (which I think is a great idea). This also means that I don’t have a definite cast list for all parts. As some of the characters were played by the same actors, I don’t want to single anyone out.
What I will say is that each actor played had the well-loved characters that we know from the film played to a tee. I could see Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Barber, David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns in all of the cast on that stage.
And I know what you are thinking? A school production, yea half of the children can’t sing. WRONG There was not one note out of place, the cast was practically perfect in every way. Highfield Middle School have stars and Mr Rutherford and Mrs Gibson who has been responsible for the show have harnessed that talent.
I found out after the performance that not only were pupils involved on stage but also off stage. From the set, costume, hair, makeup lights, sound, marketing etc the pupils were apart of. Giving opportunities for all the children from all year groups to experience the arts and what it is like to run a theatre production.
Highfield Middle School should be very proud of everyone involved in the production of Mary Poppins, it was like being in London. In fact, I can say, I have now seen a west end performance of Mary Poppins.