Gavin Creel(Photp © Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Gavin Creel
(Photp © Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
American actor Gavin Creel will take over the co-starring role of Bert in the hit production of the Disney/Cameron Mackintosh musical Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in London as of Wednesday, July 26.

He will replace Gavin Lee, who created the role when the show opened in 2004 and who will play Bert when Mary Poppins opens on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in November 2006. Creel has been signed for the London production with the permission of Actors' Equity Association pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and U.K. Equity.

Creel, who received a 2002 Tony Award nomination for his performance as Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, was most recently seen on Broadway as Jean-Michel in the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles. Among his many other credits, he had a featured role in Bounce at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and he appeared in two high profile New York productions of Hair: the 2001 City Center Encores! presentation and the 2004 Actors' Fund of America benefit concert.

Mary Poppins is now in the second year of its run at the Prince Edward. Currently, the cast is headed by Scarlett Strallen in the title role, Aden Gillett as George Banks, and Eliza Lumley as Winifred Banks. Directed by Richard Eyre, the show is co-directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne and co-choreographed by Stephen Mear. The design team includes Bob Crowley (sets and costumes), Howard Harrison (lighting), and Andrew Bruce (sound).

The stage production of Mary Poppins features many of the songs from the 1964 film with music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman. In collaboration with Mackintosh, the show was created by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who wrote the book, and the Olivier Award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who wrote the new songs and additional music and lyrics.