Mary Poppins flies into Rolleston

CentreStage Rolleston is into final rehearsals, as cast and crew prepare for the opening night of their production of the musical Mary Poppins on Thursday.

This is the fifth year the community theatre group's been running and the team is keen to showcase musical theatre talent from all over Christchurch with this well-known production.

Production Manager Lesley Long said the company wanted to celebrate with an iconic musical.

"We wanted to do a really big, well-known show that was going to appeal to a lot of people and just demonstrate to people how we've grown over the years."

Cast members range in age from 12 through to performers in their 50s and 60s. The cast auditioned for the show late last year, and have been busy with a rigorous rehearsal schedule since.

The final dress rehearsal for 'Mary Poppins'.
The final dress rehearsal for 'Mary Poppins'.
Daniel Mathers plays a character named Bert and said he can't recommend the show enough.

"We've got an amazing cast, a great creative team behind it. And, you know, you're not going to be able to say magic on stage like you do in the show. It's just one of the things that comes with Mary Poppins."

The show is being staged in the Rolleston College Auditorium, with the theatre group trying to ensure tickets are affordable, so anyone in the community can experience the musical.

Mary Poppins understudy Alannah Hounsome-Vail believes everyone will enjoy it.

"The show is very magical and it's very family oriented.

"A lot of people would say would think that Mary Poppins is the main character, but really it's all about Mr Banks and his character arc and learning to reconnect with his family."

CentreStage usually presents three shows a year - a mix of musicals and plays. Long believes the team do a great job, making the best use of their performance space and technical resources.

"People will be amazed at the size of the space, what we've done with it, the set that we have, the lighting, the sound, everything, you know, it's really kind of semiprofessional, that's the standard that we were going for, and I think we've achieved that."

The performers will be hitting the stage for nine shows over the next week and a-half, telling the classic tale of the famous nanny and her young charges, through song and dance.

 - By Emily O'Hagan, made with the support of NZ On Air