Inspiration for design can come from anywhere, I’ve written about it before, see here. Yesterday I found it somewhere I wouldn’t have thought I would (though if I really thought about it I would have known I would!). I came away wanting to fly a kite, feed the birds, and knowing that just a spoonful of sugar will help with any medicine that might cross my path (none of that Brimstone and Treacle for me). I had entered the magical world of Mary Poppins!
When Mum told me she’d bought tickets to Mary Poppins because she thought the Drama Queen would love it, I was convinced that she would take her. I’m not a musical kind of girl. I appreciate good theatre, but am not too keen on the singing and dancing kind, particularly not the big broadway style productions. But when Mum had already been and told me in no uncertain terms that she would look after the Daredevil while the Drama Queen and I had a girls afternoon, I was left with no choice, to the theatre we were going.
I’m so glad I did. We loved it. The Drama Queen was spellbound from the very beginning. It was just Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious, there’s no other word for it!
I love the story of Mary Poppins, it’s sufficiently magical to make me smile. I was mesmerised by Julie Anthony and Dick VanDyke in the Disney Mary Poppins, but I wondered how that magic could be translated to a flesh and blood stage production. This is where my inspiration was found. From the umbrellas suspended in the foyer to the smoking chimneys of the Victorian London skyline on the stage curtains, even before the curtains rose I was starting to be transported to Mary Poppins land.
One of the reasons I enjoy going to the theatre is to see how the set designer has transformed the space. How they have interpreted the play into a physical setting, and then how that setting is manipulated by the actors into a whole work. I love the minimal and adore the eclectic. There have been so many times I have left the theatre with design inspiration, not only from the set design, but from the lighting and costume design also. I have to be honest, I wasn’t holding out much hope for Mary Poppins, and again I was wrong. The production design had me transfixed. The beautiful pencil sketches transformed into the ever changing set were a perfect foil for the bright and quirky Victorian inspired costume design. I wish I could have taken photos to share, but unfortunately I was already in trouble for taking photos of the Drama Queen drinking her bright blue London Lemonade (the wisdom of this drink has yet to be determined).
The Drama Queen and I were transported and found ourselves fully emersed in the world of Mary Poppins. We bought the drinks, the lollies, the book and the CD. I wanted the umbrella. The Drama Queen wanted everything! But the best bit for the Drama Queen, and what she has told everyone about is the fact that she could see Mary Poppins undies (no, not really her undies but her knickerbockers). We were sitting extremely close to the stage, in the middle of the theatre, and as Mary Poppins flew away over the audience, she passed straight over our heads, I could have reached up and grabbed one of her gorgeous boots. The Drama Queen looked up and saw her undies!
To my horror and delight, I turned into one of “those” mothers taking photos of her little girl with the show posters after the show. I even managed cast the odd disparaging look at the pedestrians who dared to walk across my shot!
But the best piece of Mary Poppins inspiration I left the theatre with were the words of Mary Poppins herself.
You can do anything you want if only you’d get out of your own way
So I might try and keep out of my own way for a while and see what magic happens.