Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mary Poppins - A Southern Highlands' girl - Is it true that she was created here in Bowral? Well..the celebrations start this weekend.

Did you know that the creator of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, the world's most loved nanny, lived in Bowral? There is mounting evidence that P.L. Travers actually came up with the idea for the magical Miss Poppins when she lived in Holly Street, Bowral, here in the Southern Highlands, Yes, and only a few blocks away from my house.   And I can totally understand how she created Mary and the characters in Mary Poppins, as we do live in a very special and magical place where anything is possible.  You all know how I feel about the Southern Highlands, it's a perfect place to create!
As Mary says.. "Practically Perfect in Every Way"

Mary Poppins, the magical nanny made famous worldwide by the 1964 Walt Disney movie of the same name, is a fictional character created by author, P.L. Travers (who was christened Helen Lyndon Goff). One question pondered by many readers of the Mary Poppins books and fans of the movie has been: Where did Mary Poppins come from?

The question was frequently put to the author during her lifetime, but she invariably offered a vague or evasive reply. It is a mystery that may finally now have an answer, thanks to detailed biographical research by Sydney-based journalist/author Valerie Lawson and the flash of insight by an 18 year-old girl Melissa McShane, ........And the answer? Well, the place with the probably the strongest claim to be the "birthplace" of Mary Poppins - both in a symbolic and literal sense - is a town called Bowral.

   Many of you may remember when I was the Creative Director of The Wizard of Oz a couple of years ago and Melissa played Dorothy and also she was the young girl that I designed the Debutante Ball dress for and she is also one of my son's best friends.  So a few weeks ago early one morning I had a call from the McShane family asking if I had a Mary Poppins style hat that Melissa could borrow for the a television filming that was to happen in an hour.  And...of course I did...!! 
Click below to see the clip and the original cottage in Holly Street.

Photograph above by Corinne Dany  


 Above:  Melissa McShane as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Melissa in the Debutante Ball gown that I designed for her.  And top:  Melissa as the cover story in Snapshot Magazine,
click the picture to read the article by Jackie Meyers

 Last year was the 100th anniversary of Mary Poppins and Melissa and her father Paul McShane have been busy researching the history of the creation of Mary Poppins
and PL Travers  in Bowral and decided that the birth place of Mary needed to celebrated.  Money is being raised to erect a full size bronze statue of Mary Poppins in Bowral as well this coming weekend, the 7th May, 2011 there will be a Guinness World Record attempt to see whether more than 1000 people all holding umbrellas standing in the shape of Mary (see below) on the very famous Bradman Oval in Bowral can be made. 
Come along and join in if you're in town.  Click here for more information on the day

Also....just a special plug for the main sponsor on Saturday's record attempt -
Gloria Jean's Coffee, Bowral
(Thomas, my son works there, I think he may have had something to do with it, don't you?)


Photo above by Corinne Dany  

 The Mary Poppins Musical opens in Sydney this week on Thursday 5th, May
What an amazing performance to see click below for more...