The actor, who played Bert in the film version of Mary Poppins opposite Julie Andrews, reprised a smaller role he also played in the film, that of crotchety bank president Mr. Dawes. The role was not originally included in the stage production of the musical, but was written into a pivotal Act 2 scene especially for Van Dyke.
The musical, based on stories by P.L. Travers and the Oscar-winning 1964 Walt Disney film of the same title, is directed by Richard Eyre, with co-direction and choreography by Matthew Bourne and additional choreography by Stephen Mear. It has a book by Julian Fellows, and uses the original film score by Robert and Richard Sherman, augmented by new songs written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
The production features original Broadway stars, Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins and Gavin Lee as Bert, with the touring cast also including Karl Kenzler (Mr. Banks), Megan Osterhaus (Mrs. Banks), Jane Carr (Mrs. Brill), Mary Vanarsdel (Bird Woman), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Robertson Ay), Ellen Harvey (Miss Andrew), and Mike O'Carroll (Admiral Boom). Katie Balen and Bailey Grey alternate as Jane Banks while Bryce Baldwin and Carter Thomas play Michael Banks.
Van Dyke's many other credits include starring in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie as well as the film version. He is best known for his TV work, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis: Murder.