Skip to main content
2016-2017 Season

Mary Poppins’ Novels, Movie And Musical

IMG_20161119_161303-1024x768.jpg


Whenever you adapt a story from one medium to another, there are going to be changes. In the cast of Mary Poppins, taking the story in the original book to the silver screen and to the stage has resulted in too many changes to count!

A student dramaturg for a different production (Andrew Koenig) made the following chart to reveal some of the changes that have happened to the central characters. I’ve added a fourth column (BYU production) in hopes that you will think about the differences you see on our stage. After you’ve seen the show, I hope that you will come back and leave your insights in the comments below.

Novels Movie  Musical  BYU Production
Creator  P.L. Travers Screenplay by Bill Walsh
& Don DaGradi
Composition by the Sherman Brothers Directed by Robert Stevenson
Script by Julian Fellowes Music by The Sherman Brothers and George Stiles Directed by Richard Eyre Based on Disney Musical. Directed by George D. Nelson. Musical Direction by Gayle Lockwood. Choreographed by Becky Phillips and Jenny Tingey Giauque
Mary  Mary is very vain and strict. She frequently stops to stare at her reflection in shop windows. Mary Poppins is firm but kind, she disciplines the children but always maintains a certain warmth in her character. Mary is a quirky blend of fun, aloof and mysterious. She is on a mission to bring the Banks family together. Performed by Cassie Austin and Sariah Hopkin
Bert  Bert is a minor character, appearing in only a few chapters as a chalk artist and a Matchman (match salesman) but not a sweep. Bert is Mary Poppins long time friend and something of a sidekick. He is an artist and a chimney sweep Bert helps to open the eyes of the children to a social class outside their own and “sweeps” them up in Mary’s adventures Performed by Caleb Jensen
Mr. Banks  Mr. Banks rarely makes an appearance. He shows up every now and then, frustrated by the children or terrified of Miss Andrew. Mr. Banks cares for his family but is distant from them, focusing instead on his job Mr. Banks is distant from his family because of the distance he felt from his own parents and the discipline he suffered under Miss Andrew. Performed by Nick Summers
Mrs. Banks  Mrs. Banks is concerned with the duties of being a housewife in the early 1900’s, hosting parties and generally aiding Mr. Banks. Mrs. Banks is a suffragette fighting for women’s rights while still gently loving her husband and caring very much for her family. Mrs. Banks is an aspiring, yet unsuccessful actress who is struggling to discover what it means to be a good wife for her husband and mother for her children. Performed by Carolyn Keller
The Banks Children  There are five Banks children, Jane is the oldest, followed by Michael and then their twin siblings, John and Barbara, and finally the youngest, Annabel. Jane and Michael are the only two Banks children. They are troublemakers, but the behavior stems from a desire to connect to their father Jane and Michael are the Banks children. They have many preconceived ideas about how the world works that are not necessarily true. Performed by Elise Jones and Connor Phillips
Miss Andrew  Miss Andrew is Mr. Banks old nanny who is hired after Mary Poppins leaves. Mary Poppins returns and locks her in a bird cage. Miss Andrew does not make an appearance in the film Miss Andrew is the anti-Mary Poppins. She is a dictator who is partially responsible for the emotionally distant man that Mr. Banks has become. Performed by Alana Jeffery

Want to learn even more about the history of the theatrical production? Here is a wonderful (and short) clip from Disney Mary Poppins’ educational series: From Literary Inspiration to the Silver Screen.

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

Presents and Presence

December 03, 2022 08:05 AM
One of the first things many people think of when they hear the word Christmas is gifts. Gifts and Christmas have been interchangeable for a very long time in our world’s history. But over time, what people think of as gifts has shifted. Each new era or generation defines it differently. There were monetary gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the days of Christ, when all things were handcrafted and only the wealthiest of people could have precious ore or spices from distant lands. Or perhaps, during the great wars of the twentieth century, a gift of war bonds was precious when patriotism and the survival of the world made things like toys seem trivial to many. Now, everyone wants the latest iPhone or the newest technology. Throughout our lives, what we want also changes. Gifts shift from toys, games, and candy to technology or clothes–all inconsequential things that provide short-term entertainment. However, all of these things fade and have less impact on our true joy. Joy can really be found in the simple things of life.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Cultural Exchanges

December 03, 2022 07:15 AM
During planning for Christmas Around the World, Jeanette reached out to people who had the opportunity to tour and represent the United States this summer. I had the opportunity to go to tour in Spain with American Rhythm and the opportunities we had to meet people and learn about their cultures and their experiences, were truly incredible. We were asked about our experiences with meeting other people and what it was like to share cultural gifts with them. These questions were used to get answers from dancers and their answers were in the videos and audio you will see and hear throughout the show. These are the more detailed versions of my personal answers.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Gifts of Music and Cultures: Poland

December 02, 2022 10:02 PM
Throughout our time in Spain we had the opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. From Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria, and of course Spain, we were able to meet so many amazing people and make so many amazing connections. We didn’t all speak the same language, many of them didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak many of their languages. So relying on the power of song and dance, we were able to connect through different aspects.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=