"Interesant": Mary Poppins has returned 30 years later

It was thirty four years ago, in January of 1984, when soviet TV audience heard the song about thirty three cows for the first time. It was performed in the movie "Mary Poppins, goodbye", directed by Leonid Kvinikhidze, and immediately became a smash-hit. So did other songs - "Bad weather", "Wind of change", "It happened in the last summer", "Colourful dreams". And nowadays the Music Hall Theatre presented to the audience its variant of a tale about the magical nanny. One and the same famous songs created by Maksim Dunayevsky can be heard in the performance "Mary Poppins is with us!" - of course, sung live. And spectators sing with actors.

Dunayevsky intentionally came to Petersburg before giving consent for using his music. And as a result, upon being satisfied with skills of future performers and getting acquainted with creative plans of director Vasily Zarzhetsky, he not only gave his consent, but provided the Music Hall Theatre not with six songs performed in the famous movie, but with almost twenty.

The performance is addressed to children in the first place, but also to adults, of course. As well as the famous film is. Possible parallels between these two works were the main threat to the success of the new production, but this threat appeared to be groundless - the Music Hall Theatre managed to create peculiar, one-of-a-kind product.

The stage is turned into Cherry Tree lane in the outskirts of London, where Mr. Banks (Igor Besschastnov), Mrs. Banks (Natalia Cherniy) and their kids (Irina Obrezkova and Albert Mkrtchyan) sing and dance.

Duet of Miss Lark, the dog owner (Elena Ternovaya), and admiral Boom (Alexander Podmeshalsky) is so hilarious that small spectators are sincerely upset when they give place to other characters.

Nikolay Zverev (Neleus)  acts his difficult (in terms of psychology and plastique) role in convincing and lyric way:  he impersonates sculpture which comes alive and befriends children.

Ivan Eryomin, who plays a small role of a postman, is sparkling with ardour. Children`s laugh follow every entrance of Miss Andrew (Constantine Kitanin).

Actors’ voices sound in full harmony with magnificent music. Latest 3D technologies were used to help spectators to immerse into English fairy-tale. Among things to be mentioned are colourful stage scenery and especially cinema at full length of the stage - the video director Vadim Dulenko performs magic with the help of it. Young spectators of the Music Hall Theatre, applauding thirty three cows, who "gracefully" dance on the screen, break into laughter and join Mr. Robertson (Alexander Osinin)  singing: "A new poem was born - like a glass of fresh milk!"

The main role is played by Svetlana Wilhelm-Plashchevskaya. Mary Poppins in interpretation of Vasily Zarzhetsky is interesting not only because of her miracles, but also because she is the only adult who, in spite of her sternness, for some mysterious reasons keeps being a child and that`s why she understands children like nobody else.

By all accounts, when Dunayevsky presented his music to this particular Music Hall Theatre, he did a right choice. And the theatre obviously was right about its repertoire.

We still adhere to the policy of creating projects with participation of Russian authors and performers, - said the director of the Music Hall Theatre Julia Strizhak to "Interesant". - Practice of buying fully licensed western products doesn`t look promising to us. We have a lot of talents here in Russia, and we want to support them, and not to enrich foreign companies by making copies of their products. Wonderful songs created by Maksim Dunayevsky and poet Naum Olev are performed in the performance "Mary Poppins is with us!", young talented actors sing and dance there. Costumes, stage set, surprising special effects - all of them are created by our talented people. We don`t need foreign, when we have our own of high class.

The fact that the audience highly appreciated the performance "Mary Poppins is with us!" is confirmed not only by their singing together with actors, but by words of a small girl. Her mother asked her if she liked the performance. Our correspondent became a happenstance witness of that scene. The girl gave the thumbs-up and then exclaimed: "Oh, I have clapped my hands off!"


Lyudmila Andreeva

Source: Internet magazine "Interesant"

Fabio Mastrangelo told about an Italian program of the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum
14 November
14 November
13 November
Peking opera at the stage of the Music Hall Theatre
12 November