Musical Maestro Cameron Mackintosh Brings ‘Mary Poppins’ to Edinburgh with Hints of a ‘Hamilton’ Encore

Cameron Mackintosh, the renowned musical impresario, has announced exciting plans for Edinburgh’s theatre scene, hinting at the potential for Hamilton to return for an extended run in the Scottish capital and possibly make its debut in Glasgow. Adding to the buzz, Mackintosh has confirmed that Mary Poppins is set to dazzle audiences at the Festival Theatre for an extended period next year, following the huge demand for Hamilton, which sold out its nine-week run even before opening last week.

Mary Poppins, a musical that first debuted in the UK in Bristol in 1994, will be making its way to Edinburgh from January 22 to February 15 next year. This marks the show’s first appearance in the city in nine years and features Australian stage stars Stefanie Jones and Jack Chambers in the lead roles as Mary and Bert, respectively. The duo, discovered by Mackintosh in Australia, where they achieved enormous success, will be reviving their roles for the UK and Ireland tour, with the Festival Theatre being the only confirmed Scottish venue so far.

Mackintosh praised the Festival Theatre as the perfect venue for Mary Poppins, promising an even more magical version than the one previously staged at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End. Despite the challenges posed by stringent Covid restrictions, which prevented him from holding auditions in person, Mackintosh was impressed by Jones and Chambers’ performances via video, leading to their selection for the roles after a personal meeting in London.

The opening of Hamilton at the Festival Theatre marks 30 years since the venue’s extensive renovation. Mackintosh lauded the theatre’s suitability for his productions, citing its scale, capacity, and intimate feel for larger shows. The success of Hamilton in Edinburgh, which could have easily extended its run based on audience demand, reflects the strong interest from across Scotland for high-quality theatrical productions.

Mackintosh also touched upon the broader issue of theatre ticket pricing, particularly in London. With tickets for Hamilton in Edinburgh priced between £30 and £99.50, he stressed the importance of affordability in ensuring shows sell out in advance. Mackintosh believes that reasonable ticket prices have contributed to the success of his shows, contrasting with the high costs associated with short runs and big stars in other productions. He emphasized the value of musical theatre as an experience that leaves a lasting impression, comparing it favorably to dining out in terms of the memories it creates.

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