Andrews played the role in a feature film called “Mary Poppins” 55 years ago. Behnoush Tabatabai, Mehraveh Sharifinia, Ehsan Karami, and Armin Rahimian are among the actors who have now played in the Iranian musical performance directed by Ahmad Soleimani.
The play has been on stage at the Vahdat Hall in Tehran since October 30. The work is an open adaptation of Pamla L. Travers’ collection of “Mary Poppins” stories, translated by Ahmad Koulivandi, with songwriting and dramaturgy by Mohammad-Reza Koohestani. The play narrates the story of a babysitter played by Behnoush Tabatabai.
The original musical “Mary Poppins” feature was directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney in 1964, with Julie Andrews playing the role of the babysitter.
Dear Ms Julie Andrews,
My name is Behnoush Tabatabaei and starting tonight I will go on the stage of one of the most spectacular opera houses in the Middle East, in Iran. I will be performing a character which your memorable performance fifty-five years ago made eternal. The performance that left the world in awe, Mary Poppins.
My Dear Ms Andrews,
I want to express how marvellously fortunate I feel that at a time when cruelty and atrocities have embraced the world in the greyness of despair, I can, even if it is for only a few hours, take people to the world of colour, music and dance. What an honour!
For the past few months and during all the minutes of training, I have tried to commit myself to you and the thousands of people who will see me on stage in Mary Poppins in the forthcoming nights. And it was during these days of practice that I learned, more than ever, what it was like to take on the role of the angel who watched over the purest of human beings’ desires.
Beautiful Ms Andrews,
We appreciate Mary Poppins and whenever things get dire here on earth, we look up and gaze upon the blue sky and white clouds, hoping for an angle to bring us a miracle.
Lastly, my dear Mary Poppins, I would like to extend my humblest invitation to you, to come to Tehran to see a play which is graced by your name.
We would be absolutely thrilled to see you.