James Corden took his fan-favourite Crosswalk: The Musical segment from his Late Late Show to the streets of London this week. The 38-year-old star and his “theatre ensemble” performed a hilarious production of Mary Poppins for confused motorists.
The talk show host played the titular character, made famous by Dame Julie Andrews, while Sir Ben Kingsley took on the role of the lovable chimney sweep Bert. "When [James] told me about the idea, of course, I jumped at the chance. Theatre should be at the people—especially, in this case, for the people in their cars driving home from work," Ben said.
The iconic British actor kicked off the show with a rousing rendition of "Chim Chim Cher-ee." James then entered the scene holding an umbrella and wearing the classic Poppins uniform while slowly descending from the sky (with a little help from a crane.)
James, who returned home to the UK to tape a few episodes of his hit late-night show, was so impressed with his performance that he boasted he pulled off Mary Poppins better than the one and only Julie Andrews."It’s not for me to say. I can hear people, I hear whispers. You know, ‘Oh my god, he’s better than Julie Andrews.’ I can’t say that, those aren’t my words, but I think I’m better than Julie Andrews," he said.
The spritely production showcased all of the film’s hit songs, including "Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,""Step In Time" and ""Let's Go Fly a Kit.”
Drivers and pedestrians alike were both amused and in shock at what they were seeing. Many documented the performance on their phones not knowing that they’d soon see it, and themselves, on television!
Following the cast’s final bow, James and Ben both agreed that the show was a huge success. "I think a wise man once said, 'You can never go home again.' But I think if he could see what just happened there he'd go, 'Actually, I was wrong. My bad. He can. And you can rock it on the strand on a Tuesday in London," said James. Ben added that he believed his performance was one the best he has ever done. "This has truly been the highlight of my career. I mean, I know I've played Gandhi and this and that, and this and that, but honestly, today I was Bert. I smashed it!" the award winning actor exclaimed.