(Emma Brockes’s article appeared in the Guardian, 9/15.)
When I was growing up, I had access to two VHS videos. One was The Snowman, the classic adaption of the Raymond Briggs cartoon, and the other was Mary Poppins. (I’m talking about the mid-1980s, when this represented an extraordinary range of options on top of Britain’s four terrestrial TV channels.) As a result, I watched Poppins probably 3,000 times; I know it from the first spit-spot to the umbrella’s final squawk. It is thanks to this movie that I still misuse the word “amortize” and, in times of stress, can be unaccountably soothed by the phrase “Shipyards, the mercantile”.
I was, therefore, interested to read this week of a new Poppins movie in the works, to be directed by Rob Marshall – who just made a long-winded version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods – and with new music by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a songwriting duo known mainly for Hairspray and the Broadway production of Catch Me if You Can. There is no word on casting yet, but with the memory of Carrie Underwood’s Maria von Trapp still waking many of us screaming in the night, I am braced for the worst.
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