The Knowing of Mary Poppins **** (Fringe Factory until Sunday, March 16, 2008)

March 6, 2008

This is a luscious show from a purely theatrical point-of-view. It is a very layered script, the three actors share numerous roles, as well as each actor playing the lead character at different stages of her life – child, mother, “crone”.

The character in question is the author of Mary Poppins, PL Travers. Travers grew up in Australia and along her journey we meet her father, who worked for a bank, and an aunty who carried an umbrella and carpet bag – characters we are familiar with from the Mary Poppins story.

However, Travers’ character goes to great pains to avoid defining the moment or person who inspired the Poppins character. In fact, we learn that she would rather have had the story attributed to Anonymous because she felt she was more like a medium for the character, rather than its creator.

It is a fascinating story with excellent, albeit animated acting. It will be a joy for anybody who enjoys imaginative and poetic theatre. It might be a bit more challenging for folk normally attracted to the Fringe’s stand-up and burlesque fare.

Read more or buy tickets through the Fringe Guide