Mary Poppins Returns

At our very own screening of Mary Poppins Returns, Dance Explosion (my dance school) finally got to see the much-anticipated sequel to Mary Poppins; a movie many of the older girls had fallen in love with when we were tiny dancers and the younger girls, just as excited to see. A story that many, if not all, of us have even had the pleasure of performing on stage at least once in our life – I’ve been in Mary Poppins twice, myself.

Ask any one of the 100+ moviegoers who packed that cinema in Balwyn last Sunday. The line said by Mary Poppins herself is just right to describe the sequel.

“Practically perfect in every way”

Directed by Rob Marshal, the story takes place more than 20 years after the original tale, the banks children are all grown up and we meet the three young children of Michael Banks. As you guessed it, Mary Poppins Returns to look after Michael Banks’s children, though perhaps there’s more to it than that…

The story line is different but stays true to the original. Exactly as it should, it makes sense and flows easily from the last movie, occasionally making small references and jokes that true Mary Poppins fans will appreciate.

All new musical numbers, and dances, and even some new characters, makes the sequel exciting to watch and is not too predictable as sequels sometimes are. Even better, the movie is head by a jaw-dropping cast that makes one point and exclaim “Hey! Look who it is!”. Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and many more spectacular performers will blow you away. It’s almost too much talent for one movie.

Speaking of a talented cast, I have to tell you, there is a much bigger reason to why Dance Explosion filled a whole cinema to see Mary Poppins returns all together… We are all very proud to know that we have one of our very own, part of such a sacred movie.

Tarik Frimpong; son of our dance teacher Miss Wendy Russell-Clarke, and former Dance Explosion student, made it into the cast of Mary Poppins returns. And no, not just as an extra. Tarik played the speaking role of Angus – one of the lamp lighters working for Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda). Tarik enters the story in a spectacular dance number – “Trip a little light fantastic” where he sings, dances and says a few lines in his perfectly perfected cockney accent.

Now I may be biased, we might all be biased. But I think Tarik’s performance was absolutely fantastic. I mean for his first ever big movie, this was incredible. I knew he could dance, I knew he could sing and now he’s a triple threat, pulling all his talents together nicely.

The whole “Trip a little light fantastic scene” is splendid. The song itself is fun and upbeat and the dancing, oh my god the DANCING! The choreography was unbelievably good. I mean there were lampposts, ladders and BMX bikes. All the cast were acting, singing and dancing at the same time. It’s a rather impressive performance by all of them.

But of course, we are all super over the moon for Tarik. I’ve never seen Wendy so proud and I don’t blame her. We’ve all spent the last month following every single one of hers and Tarik’s posts on social media about the U.S and U.K premieres. Mother and son walking the red carpet. It’s so exciting just to watch the footage and photos.

Look out everyone, we have a star from down-under amongst us!

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In all seriousness, so very proud of you, Tarik!

Mary Poppins Returns is absolutely a must-see for all families and fans of the original movie. Definitely something for people to do over these holidays. It will make you laugh along at old and new jokes as well as make you cry at the heart-warming and emotional story of a little family overcoming a difficult time with just a little bit of magic.

Have fun singing and dancing along. Make sure to look out for Tarik Frimpong amongst the star-studded cast. And most importantly… don’t stop believing in magic.

“Everything is possible, even the impossible”

You need only to see the movie, if you don’t believe me.


Claudia Forsberg is a Melbourne based writer and journalist. She is currently working as a Regional Trainee with ABC Ballarat.


  1. Wendy Russell-Clarke

    Claudia this is such a beautiful tribute. Thank you so much for speaking so kindly and highly of Tarik. I was so pleased at how the whole day eventuated and it was fabulous hearing all our Dance Explosion family cheering every time Tarik came on screen. You are absolutely correct in saying you have never seen me so proud. I couldn’t stop beaming but I was also proud of the wonderful connection that our Dance Explosion family has and the support we have for each other. Bringing the 4 locations together for this event was fabulous. I think we need to more of this kind of thing. It bought so much happiness to each and every one of us who attended 🙂
    Wendy xxxx

    • Claudia Forsberg

      Absolutely, glad you liked this piece and be sure to pass it on to Tarik 🙂

  2. raheelajames

    I haven’t seen Mary Poppins Returns yet but it is definitely on our to see list. How super exciting that you knew one of the actors. I’m sure Tarik will be so happy to read that you featured him in the post. I so absolutely loved the original Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews, she is one of my favorite actresses. I’m glad that the sequel stays close to the original. I’m always wary of watching a sequel but I’m glad this stays close to the original. Raheela


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