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Father’s Day: top shows to make your dad feel good

Published June 15, 2016

Check out our picks of the West End’s best and worst fathers, guaranteed to make yours smile.

West End shows offer a range of father figures, but not all of them would be deserving of a card and a box of chocolates this weekend. If you’re looking for gift inspiration (and the opportunity for some positive comparison) the following shows are sure to give you all plenty to talk about.

Kevin Rosario: In The Heights

Role model rating: 3/5
Dad dancing score: 5/5

David Bedella won an Olivier Award for his portrayal of Kevin Rosario; the classic, over-protective father, who’ll do just about anything to secure his child’s place in the world. A tendency for wallowing in misery, mild xenophobia and a habit of making decisions without consulting either his spouse or his daughter leaves a lot to be desired, but bonus points for excellent Latino dancing skills. The value of home and family is at the core of the show, so it’s bound to be a winner.

Bill Austin, Harry Bright, Sam Carmichael: Mamma Mia!

Role model rating: 4/5
Dad dancing score: 3/5

Three dads for the price of one! Though Bill/Harry/Sam’s absence for most of Sophie’s life is a definite downside (they didn’t know she existed, after all) they more than make up for it by the end with their unquestionable love. There are some great comedy moments, so take your dad along for a laugh and some good ABBA nostalgia. (They love it really.)

Lord Capulet: Romeo And Juliet

Role model rating: 1/5
Dad dancing score: 4/5

For a child in a burgeoning romantic relationship, this is a masterclass in how a father should NOT behave. Love and concern for a child’s future is laudable, organising a spouse without her consent is not. Worth seeing for Michael Rouse’s gut-wrenching Act Five performance alone, you can treat your dad to some top-class drama, with a gentle reminder to leave the romance to you. Just be sure to take him out for a drink afterwards.

Monsieur Thénardier and Jean Valjean: Les Misérables

Role model rating: 0/5 and 4/5
Dad dancing score: 1/5 and 3/5

There are two adopted fathers in Les Misérables, who are polar opposites when it comes to fatherly tendencies. Cosette is rescued from the clutches of drunkard swindler Thénardier by the kind, china doll-bearing Valjean with the promise that she will ‘want for nothing’. Unfortunately, Eponine, Thénardier’s biological daughter, has no such luck. While Valjean has more than a touch of the interfering, over-protective father about him, I defy even the hardiest dad to manage the finale without welling up. 

Henry Horatio Hobson : Hobson’s Choice

Role model rating: 1/5
Dad dancing score: 0/5

A new entry in the West End dads group – we attended the opening night of Hobson’s Choice yesterday and can confirm that Hobson will not be winning Father Of The Year. Though perhaps many a papa in the audience will be able to sympathise with Hobson’s frustration with his daughters’ attitudes to clothes-shopping, his controlling nature and refusal to allow them to marry are not attributes they will want to emulate. A healthy reminder for dads that, if you forbid your child to do something, they will definitely find a way to do it anyway.