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Practically perfect in every way as Charlton students take to the stage

Students from Charlton School, in Wellington, are busy in the final throes of rehearsals for their annual school production of Mary Poppins Jnr.

Students at Charlton School preparing for their Mary Poppins Jnr production
Students at Charlton School preparing for their Mary Poppins Jnr production

Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and the Broadway musical that played for over 2,500 performances and received multiple Olivier and Tony Awards nominations, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins is capturing hearts in a whole new way; as a practically perfect Broadway Junior musical!

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again.

Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."

Over 100 Charlton students are performing in the show and many more are helping backstage with costume, make-up, lighting and sound and stage management. The main cast are a core team of dedicated performers who have featured in many performances at both Charlton and other local societies.

Beth Wheat, the show’s director, said the students had risen incredibly to the challenge of an incredibly tough musical score and ambitious choreography.

Freya Spellen and Elizabeth Pearson share the lead role of Mary Poppins, while Jack Pooler and Finn Moore play Bert.

Elizabeth Pearson said: "I like that it is a classic and a film that we have all grown up with and it is nice to be able to put our own spin on it. I love Julie Andrews too and use her performance to inspire me."

Beth said: “I have been blown away by students’ dedication and commitment to this show. So many students are participating in this production, and it really has been an extraordinary experience for all involved.

"From creating the magic to rehearsing the complex scores and adventurous choreography that has been created by our dedicated dance teachers, Amy Crampsie and Jodie Wellings, I know that our wonderful students cannot wait to share the product of their hard work with the magic of Mary Poppins."

Andy McNaughton, the school principal said: "I am delighted that the production has gained such momentum within the school and delighted with the resilience and commitment the students have shown during the rehearsal process. I am sure the production will be a huge success and reflect the talent and commitment of Charlton students."

Tickets are on sale at the school’s finance office or through reception and are priced at £3.50 and £4. Performances are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Charlton Schools theatre, with a start time of 7pm.

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