SYNOPSIS: ACT I
- Bert leads the audience to number 17 Cherry Tree Lane
- After having the last nanny quit, Jane and Michael write an advertisement for their next nanny
- Mary Poppins arrives
- Children meet Bert and learn to look past outward
- Winifred Banks sends out an invitation for a tea party
- Mary takes the children to the bank where George Banks works
- The children and Mary go see the Bird Woman
- Mary takes the children to a magic sweet shop
- George has been laid off his job because of the decisions he made while the children were there
- Jane’s toys come alive during an argument with her father
- Mary leaves
SYNOPSIS: ACT II
- Winifred hires George’s childhood nanny for the children
- George is terrified when he sees the nanny
- The children run off to the park where they meet Bert once again
- Mary returns, confronts the new nanny, and gives her a taste of her own medicine
- Mary takes the children to see Bert and his fellow chimney sweeps
- George decides to sell the vase, an item that has been in the family for years, but finds out it has been broken by the cook
- As he tries to gather up the pieces, he finds an object from his
- Winifred accompanies George to the bank
- When he arrives at the bank, George is surprised to find out
- that he made a lot of money for the bank
- All is now well in the Banks’ household, and Mary realizes
- that her work there is finished
CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: MARY POPPINS
- The protagonist/hero of the play
- A “practically perfect” nanny
- Able to perform magic in order to teach the children lessons
- Strict and wants to keep order, but also kind and loving towards the children
- Dresses and looks very proper with a nice blouse and skirt or a dress
- Wears an apron while at the house
- Often wears a hat, gloves on her hands,
- and something red
- Many times seen holding an umbrella or
CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: GEORGE BANKS
- The antagonist of the play
- Mary’s employer
- Works at a bank
- Very controlling and not loving towards his wife and children
- Dresses like a businessman – a suit and
- top hat
- Looks very serious all the time
SUMMARY OF LYRICS AND ROLE IN THE MUSICAL
- About a Bird Woman who appears to be homeless, and who sits in front of a cathedral selling crumbs to feed the birds. The Bird Woman sits there and tells people that it only costs “tuppence a bag” to feed the birds.
- It speaks of the importance of giving to those in need and the rewards for doing so
- “Feed the Birds” is sung after the children visit their father at the bank. It is sung as a duet between Mary Poppins and the Bird Woman.
THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
- Form of the Melody:
- An instrumental introduction, the chorus, a verse, the chorus, a variation of the chorus, a choir singing the chorus as sort of an interlude, a bridge, a variation of the chorus, and an instrumental conclusion
- Instrumental introduction plays a part of the melody heard later in the song and tells the listener that it is a more solemn, hymn-like song
- The chorus is organized in such a way that the first and third lines are the same melody, but with different words. The same is true for the second and fourth lines, although there is a slight variation of the melody at the end of the lines.
- The rhythm of the Melody:
- In ¾ time
- A slow tempo with a smooth, drawn-out feel
- At the bridge, there seems to be a pick up in tempo, but it returns to the previous tempo as it moves into the variation of the chorus
- Dynamics of the Melody:
- The instrumental introduction starts off fairly loud at about a mezzo forte, but quickly drops to about a piano for the start of the chorus
- During the chorus, the dynamics increase by the third line to about a mezzo-piano as more instruments enter the harmony
- The bridge increases in dynamics even more to about a mezzo forte, but then drops back to a mezzo piano for the chorus
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Mary Poppins: Summary, Characters, Music," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019, https://schoolworkhelper.net/mary-poppins-summary-characters-music/.
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