Nostalgia, magic and hope abound in this enchanting sequel to the 1964 original Mary Poppins. The strict yet playful nanny returns to aid the Banks family, as the now grown-up and widowed Michael and his sister Jane face the potential loss of their beloved family home during the Great Slump of the 1930s. Together with lamp-lighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Mary guides Michael’s three children after the death of their mother, as a magical nanny does.

Pulling show-stopping performances out of the bag

Anyone who has memorised the words to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” will be captivated by the original songs, perfectly performed by Emily Blunt, along with the numerous animated dance sequences as delightfully whimsical as those of the original.

When it came to casting Mary for Mary Poppins Returns, director Rob Marshall says he only ever considered offering the role to British actress Emily Blunt, no-one else. Besides having worked with her on Into the Woods, Marshall was convinced that she would be able to portray the magic and humanity of the character while delivering a singing and dancing performance second to none.

Even the original Mary, Julie Andrews, was delighted with Blunt’s casting, calling it “wonderful” when she was told in secret before filming had even begun.

And wonderful it truly is. As Mary sails down to earth (attached to the end of the youngest Banks’ kite), gracefully lands without disturbing a hair on her perfect head, and then purposefully strides to their front door and sets about installing herself in the household, it is clear that Blunt has made this iconic role her own – endowing a sentimental childhood character with even more spirit and flair than we ever imagined possible.