Walt Disney's magical 1964 film of Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews is an all-time classic that would be impossible to replicate scene for scene on stage. What’s clever about Cameron Mackintosh and Disney’s stage creation – currently entering the last week of its second UK tour at the Wales Millennium Centre – is that it doesn’t try to do that. Instead, the  musical has been given a new dramatic structure and book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. The story is a combination of Poppins’ creator P L Travers' books and the Sherman Brothers songs from the film. And there are new additional songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe that are in the same vein as the Sherman Brothers’ material and are classic songs in themselves. To coin the title of one song, it’s a ‘Practically Perfect’ combination, and the show is as fresh and well-minted now as when I first saw it during its pre-West End season at the Bristol Hippodrome in 2004.

There’s a great moral story at the heart of Mary Poppins. Mary goes to the Banks household for a reason – not just as a nanny to the excitable Michael and Jane Banks but to unite their parents too. Rebecca Lock's Winifred Banks struggles in her role as a wife and mother, while Neil Roberts’ George Banks is a man so wrapped up in his work at the bank that he risks losing the love of his devoted wife and children. When Mary Poppins arrives at Cherry Tree Lane, she shakes up their lives with a ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ and a large dose of ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’!

Alongside the story of the family is an exuberant dance-drama spectacular that amazes the eyes and ears of both young and old. Director Richard Eyre and co-director Matthew Bourne’s production is colourful and energetic, featuring some truly iconic sequences. And with Stephen Mear co-choreographing with Bourne, the dance sequences – like the fabulous ‘Step in Time’ with Mary joining Bert and the company of chimney sweeps – are simply joyous. ‘Anything can happen’ is a life-affirming wonder and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ is a real showstopper with the letters of that inconceivable word cleverly spelled via the choreography. Even Grainne Renihan’s brief moment as the Bird Lady in ‘Feed the Birds’ is given meticulous attention and is another standout number.

Mary Poppins is full of deliciously quirky characters, and while the stage version never quite works as well when the story vies further away from the film, another iconic number is never far away. The lead roles are perfectly cast, with Rebecca Lock bringing great heart to the character of Mrs Banks, making the audience care for her plight. Matt Lee’s rather clean-cut Bert could do with a bit more soot on his face at times but is personable, funny and has great charm. The ‘Step in Time’ sequence where Lee walks across the proscenium arch sideways and upside down is yet another wonder to the eye. But of course the show belongs to its star – and she is a star – Zizi Strallen as Mary. Following in the footsteps of her older sister Scarlett in the role, Zizi brings the right level of no-nonsense to the unique character of Mary Poppins, yet is magical and loveable at the same time. Mary flies out into the audience at the end of the show in one of musical theatre’s most draw-dropping sequences and the audience gasps and bursts into rapturous applause at the same time. This Poppins is indeed a ‘Practically Perfect’ delight.