7 Things You Never Knew About the Magical World of Mary Poppins!

1. Step in Time... TWICE?!

The amazing and iconic dance sequence in the 1964 film of Mary Poppins not only took a whole week to film, but it had to be shot twice due to a scratch on the film of the first take!


In the West End musical version of the show, the incredible choreography for the 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' number shows the Chatterboxes in Mrs. Corry’s Talking Shop actually spell out the word through dance. Co-choreographers for the show Stephen Mear and Matthew Bourne said that it was inspired both my Mear's partner, Mark Smith, who is deaf (and an amazing tap teacher by the way) and British Sign Language. Bourne described it as “a tongue-twister in movement.” And we totally agree, have a look!

3. Shock Tactics

While filming the 1964 movie, the film makers decided to 'surprise' Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber (who played the children Jane and Michael Banks). Jane's flabbergasted reactions to Mary's magical carpet bag and the wonderful colour changing medicine are totally authentic! The producers also didn't tell the children that Dick Van Dyke was also playing Mr. Dawes Sr. and they were worried that the "horrible old man" would keel over at any moment!

4. 17 Cherry Tree Lane, Broadway, New York.

In the Broadway production of the musical, the set design featured an award winning, almost full sized replica of a traditional Edwardian home weighing an impressive 5 tonnes!

5. Trip a Lotta Light Fantastic

In the 2018 film, Mary Poppins Returns the dance sequence for 'Trip a Little Light Fantastic' took a two weeks to film and sometimes featured 50 dancers on screen at once! In this 8 minute dance scene that was filmed both on location at Middle Temple in London and then in a studio over 5 different sets, there included: a three-story fountain, a bridge, a greenhouse, 25 hybrid electric and gas streetlights, 28 rotating street lamps, 18 ladders made of metal, rubber, and balsa and possibly, most amazingly 100 BMX bikes!

6. Still Got It!

In the sequel, Dick Van Dyke (who played both Bert and Mr Dawes Sr in the original) makes a cameo as Mr Dawes Jr. Even though he is 93 years old, the make up crew had to age him more as he didn't look old enough for the role! For his dance number in this movie he was offered four different options for choreography, and in true professional style he chose the hardest routine and refused any help from other cast members while filming it!

7. Don't be a Drag!

Finally, and possibly my favourite bit of trivia... In the original 1964 movie, many actors playing the the potential nannies applying for the position (queueing outside the Bank's house before being blown away by a magical gust of wind) were actually men in drag!

We are so excited about our upcoming Mary Poppins Easter Camp taking place in Streatham this Easter!

If your child would like to join us for an absolutely wonderful week of performing arts and creative activities make sure you book now! Head to our Camps & Workshops page to find out more information or book!

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