Albatross Musical Theatre’s (AMTC) production of Mary Poppins

You won’t need a spoon full of sugar to enjoy this upcoming musical because it’s already sweet and wonderful.

The Albatross Musical Theatre’s (AMTC) production of Mary Poppins brings this classic tale to life and on the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre’s stage from Friday July 13 to Sunday July 22.

The show features the best of local performers in the cast of more than 50, a full orchestra in the pit and many spectacular dance numbers.

You will be thrilled by the sets and costumes and the sheer quality of musical performance and, of course, the magic of Mary Poppins.

About the show

Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Bert, a jack-of-all trades, introduces the audience to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family.

Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep.

Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again.

Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect.

Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that ‘”anything can happen if you let it”.

Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stagecraft.

Tickets

Adult: $49

Concession/Student/Child/SEC Member/Group 8+: $45

Go to http://www.amtc.org.au/PetesTheatre/?p=4544 to book and tickets are now on sale.

The cast 

Briannah Gordon:  Mary Poppins

When it comes to performing in the Shoalhaven, Briannah is very much a familiar face.  At the age of eight she first performed with the local Opera Company, Opera South in their production of La Boheme with the talented Christa Leahman.  It was here that her love for performing and entertaining was nurtured.  She was one of the few children selected to continue performing with them in their productions of A Night at the Opera and The Merry Widow.

Briannah began performing with AMTC at the age of 12-years in the role of Jamie in their production of High School Musical.  It was this performance that gave her a passion for the musical theatre stage.  She continued to perform with AMTC in multiple shows including Fiddler on the Roof in the role of Shprintze, My Fair Lady, Showtime, The Boy From Oz and most recently The Little Mermaid.

Other performances have included the role of Liesel in Nowra Anglican College’s production of The Sound of Music, featured artist in Southern Stars and the Illawarra Performing Ensemble.  Briannah also enjoys giving her time to help local community fundraising events such as the Star Light Foundation and Berry Rotary Club to help raise funds for the linear accelerator.  She has also dabbled in film and TV with Nickelodeon, The Australian Film Commission and the promotion and inception of ABC IView.

At the age of 18 Briannah moved to Sydney to pursue her performance education, completing a Bachelor of Music performance and Music Education at the University of New South Wales, and also her AMEB AMusA in Singing Performance.  She has recently returned to the Shoalhaven area as a Music and private Vocal teacher. She is excited to perform in her first major lead role as Mary and hopes you are all just as excited by the magic that is Mary Poppins!

Jordan Hockey:  Bert

Jordan is a 19 year-old musical enthusiast who also enjoys playing weekend sports and experimenting with his own musical career.  He comes from a large family of six children, all of whom have been raised to appreciate and even participate in musical theatre. Mary Poppins is Jordan’s first production with AMTC and he has enjoyed every moment of the supercalifragilistic experience!  His past musical experiences involved being a part of cast and crew in all Nowra Anglican College musicals from 2005 – 2017. More specifically, he enjoyed playing the lead roles of Link Larkin in Hairspray! and the Pirate King in the Pirates of Penzance.  Jordan is a local singer/songwriter that plays gigs for wineries, restaurants and cafes and even special events such as weddings and parties.

Toby Binns:  Michael Banks

This is Toby’s first major role in a theatre production after performing in the Junior Albatross Musical Dear Edwina in 2017.  While Toby has only recently discovered his love for singing and musical theatre, his first passion is dancing which he has been doing for over four years.  He also enjoys playing the trumpet. Toby is delighted to be playing the role of Michael Banks. He has thoroughly enjoyed being in the cast of Mary Poppins and would like to thank everyone in the cast and production team for such a wonderful opportunity.  He is happy to be a member of AMTC and looks forward to being involved in many more productions in the future.

Makenzie Bonney:  Jane Banks

Makenzie is thrilled to be a part of the AMTC’s production of Mary Poppins and having the opportunity to bring Jane Banks to life.  She has appeared in numerous productions, both musical and play, and loves both equally.  Makenzie made her stage debut with the Roo Theatre Company in Annie and has gone on to numerous other shows.  Some of her other stage credits include The Narrator in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Edith in Picnic at Hanging Rock and the Mad Hatter in Shrek. Mackenzie also performs in local community fundraising events, raising funds and awareness for many important issues and organisations.  She studies vocals under the tuition of Trent Bowater and Hannah Garbo and would like to thank them both for their ongoing support as well as attending a Musical Theatre dance class at iDance Performing Arts Studio.  Finally, Makenzie would like to thank her family for their constant support and encouragement. She hopes you enjoy the show.

Production team

Dennis Ross:  Producer

Dennis works on the production side of AMTC performances.  He is a former committee member, Vice President and President of AMTC and has worked with a number of shows in various roles such as technical director and producer but often just as roustabout.  The Mary Poppins show can boast some firsts in AMTC history.  The largest single set piece ever – and it is magnificent.  Equal first in having the youngest director. This, more than most, is a complex show with many elements to bring together and everyone in the team from cast to orchestra to production team should be congratulated for their efforts. The technical elements alone require enormous effort and skill.  Dennis sees the real joy of the show in the exhilarating power of the vocal performances from a wonderful cast well supported by a full orchestra, the dynamic visuals of the choreography and costuming and the combination of youth and experience in the cast working so well together.

Marie De La Torre:  Producer – Bird Woman – backing vocal

After 26 years with the Company performing mostly on stage as well as working behind the scenes Marie would now prefer to only audition for cameo roles or as a backing vocalist.  She is delighted to have the opportunity to sing one of the most beautiful songs in Mary Poppins, Feed the Birds and to also back up in the pit as one of the backing vocalists.  The role of producer for this production is not her first but so much easier sharing it with a very experienced Dennis Ross. It has been a privilege and joy to have been a member of AMTC and to have shared the love of musical theatre with her family and especially husband Keith. An AMTC Life Member, past President and present Secretary she admits to being a musical theatre tragic and  hopes to continue her involvement into the future if only in a lesser capacity.

Laura Turner:  Director

Laura teaches Drama and Entertainment Industries at Nowra Anglican College and enjoys sharing her love of performing arts with her students.  Laura attained a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (UWS) and later her Certificate III in Live Productions and Events from NIDA. She previously directed Oklahoma, Hairspray and Pirates of Penzance for Nowra Anglican College as well as two site specific performances at the Lady Denman Museum and Meroogal.  She has worked backstage on AMTC shows including stage managing Dear Edwina and the #JAMpact! concert.  Prior to becoming a teacher Laura had a long history of involvement with the entertainment industry as Rehearsal and Stage Manager for the National Institute of Youth Performing Arts Australia.  This involved stage managing at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Seymour Centre and the SCG. Working on Mary Poppins has been both a challenge and an exciting time for Laura who is looking forward to the end result of months of rehearsals with the talented cast and creative team.

Ben May:  Director

The youngest member of our AMTC committee Ben joined the company four years ago as an enthusiastic 17 year-old to perform on stage in The Wizard of Oz.   Since then he has appeared on-stage with AMTC in Grease, Oliver! and most recently The Little Mermaid while learning other production skills as a member of the creative team in the role of Assistant Producer for Grease and The Great Australian Rock Musical.  With the Nowra Players he appeared in Spamalot and Avenue Q as well as taking on various backstage roles. Attaining a Diploma in Event Management gave Ben the opportunity to contribute to the arts in the Shoalhaven in a variety of ways including being the Operations Manager of the Culburra Festival.

Although not new to Mary Poppins, having appeared in the Moon Glow production at the IPAC theatre in Wollongong in 2015, this is Ben’s first time as a Director. Working together with a highly experienced and professional production team, he is thrilled to see his vision come to life on the stage of the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.

Ben would like to thank the AMTC for allowing him the opportunity to work with this amazing cast and creative team to bring such a well-known Disney classic to the Shoalhaven audience which should be thoroughly enjoyed by all.

AMTC history

Albatross Musical Theatre Company has been performing in the Shoalhaven since 1975 and the Entertainment Centre since its opening. Their history includes acclaimed shows such as The Little Mermaid, Oliver, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Grease and many more.

Originally the Albatross Gilbert and Sullivan Society performing in the Gymnasium at the Naval base, Albatross Musical Theatre Company has grown and diversified in the intervening years.  Performances moved into town and eventually into the Nowra School of Arts. The Company was incorporated as a ‘not for profit’ organisation and renamed Albatross Musical Theatre Company in 1995.  With the opening of the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in 2008 we were quick to move performances there and take advantage of the large stage and professional venue.

AMTC has always valued its place in the community and has given annual donations to charities, emergency relief appeals and the Shoalhaven Eisteddfod.  At various times we have dedicated shows to raise money for a charitable cause as well as providing scholarships to young people and opportunities for students to work backstage to support their coursework.

JAM (Junior Albatross Musicals) is a recent venture for AMTC to showcase talented junior performers aged between 10 and 15.  It is a learning experience for the juniors, utilising and teaching skills in many areas of musical theatre performance and production.  JAM leads to performances of their own show in the professional venue of the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre with their upcoming production of Shrek Jr to be held in this venue in October.

The history of AMTC is the history of its people and, although they have changed over the years, AMTC still continue to attract the best performers, musicians and theatre folk to create its shows.