Though theatres are currently closed, we still want to celebrate Mother’s Day by giving a shout-out to our favourite on-stage mums! As it turns out, not everyone in the office holds Donna Sheridan in such high esteem as I do… In fact, there was such a range of responses that we decided to share them with you and let you make up your own minds!
What’s more, if you’re still struggling to get your mum the present she really deserves this Mother’s Day, why not treat her to some Theatre Tokens for when the venues are back up and running! Theatre Tokens can be used at more than 260 venues across the country and have no expiry date. Support the theatre industry while bagging mum a great gift – it’s a win-win!
Donna Sheridan – Mamma Mia!
Frankie – Marketing Coordinator:
‘For me, Donna is the ultimate fun mum. She’s impulsive, adventurous and has a great sense of humour – not to mention she really made the most of her youth! She’s also independent and entrepreneurial, making her an amazing role model for her daughter Sophie, who she brought up alone. Her long-lasting friendships with Tanya and Rosie prove she’s fiercely loyal, plus a supportive fellow girl band member (go, Donna and the Dynamos!). Finally, Donna is a doting mother to Sophie (who didn’t shed a tear at Slipping Through My Fingers?), who she teaches to be just as headstrong as her.’
Edna Turnblad – Hairspray
Milly – Video & Social Media Coordinator:
‘I love Edna’s character journey. She starts off shy and humble, and ends the show emboldened and unashamed with the help of her loving family. Edna empathises with her daughter Tracy, which is partly why she doesn’t want her going on The Corny Collins show – she knows how it feels to be made fun of. But ultimately, her transition from stay-at-home mum to high-flying agent stems from her love for Tracy and shows huge bravery in the face of discrimination. Sidenote – Edna and Wilbur are couple goals.’
Fantine – Les Misérables
Megan – Senior Media & Marketing Manager:
‘Fantine is the epitome of a self-sacrificing parent. She does what she believes is best for her child (no matter how misguided this may be), and her tragic fate stems entirely from her desire to give Cosette a better life. Her actions are part of the catalyst for Jean Valjean becoming a better man – as well as a great dad. She also isn’t afraid to call out and throw shade at other women who try to tear her down!’
Heidi Hansen – Dear Evan Hansen
Kayley – Events & Partnerships Coordinator:
‘Heidi is my favourite West End mum because, unlike the ‘virtuous Fantine’, her character is multifaceted – and therefore relatable! As a single mum, she’s torn between providing for her son and being a present parent. She tries her best to connect with Evan but, as is often the case for parents of teens, struggles to understand his inner workings. She certainly isn’t perfect, but she does learn from her mistakes in an attempt to improve her relationship with her son – and isn’t that all we can ask for?’
Jenna Hunterson – Waitress
Jess – Social Media Coordinator:
‘Despite not being thrilled at the idea of having a child, Jenna is actually an amazing prospective mother! Every decision she makes focuses on her child’s future wellbeing – even those that are incredibly daunting (deciding to leave her abusive husband is no mean feat!). Jenna carries with her the wisdom and influence of her own mother, who also found solace in baking, and imparts this to her female friends. Though perhaps not as drastic as some of the other mums’ journeys, her character development is beautiful to watch!’
Margaret New – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Richard – Commercial Manager:
‘Margaret plays the role of both parents in Jamie’s life, so it’s fortunate for him that her love is entirely unconditional. She accepts her son for who he is and encourages him to live his life the way he wants to – despite her fears that others will punish him for it. I think Jamie and Margaret have such a relatable relationship; one minute they’re best friends and the next they’re at each other’s throats, but it’s only because they care so much about each other! Although Jamie doesn’t always understand or appreciate Margaret’s actions (typical teenager!), her first priority is always to protect her son.’
Miss Honey – Matilda The Musical
Kitty – Listings & Content Coordinator:
‘Maybe this is cheating, but for me, Miss Honey is the West End’s best ‘mum’. She believes in Matilda to such an extent that she puts aside her own fears to stand up for her. She nurtures and encourages Matilda far more than the child’s own parents, assuring her that she is special and that her extraordinary intelligence is nothing to be ashamed of – the total opposite of what Matilda is used to hearing! Her love for Matilda, as well as her capability as a teacher, is even more admirable in the knowledge that she hasn’t experienced much love herself.’
Sarabi – Disney’s The Lion King
Eva – Communications Officer:
‘Although Sarabi doesn’t feature too heavily in the show, she is still my favourite West End mum. Her resolve in the face of her husband’s death and son’s disappearance deserves far more credit than it gets! She is an amazing role model for the remainder of the pride, who she continues to lead with dignity and grace – despite the awful circumstances they must endure. She also stands up to the dictatorial Scar, insisting that the pride must leave their beloved Pride Rock (which of course she doesn’t want to) if they are to survive. All in all, a pretty badass lioness!’
Winifred Banks – Mary Poppins
Tess – Junior Designer:
‘Winifred Banks’ experience as a mum mirrors that of so many women, which is why I really empathise with her! She is trapped in a society where the primary function of women is to be the perfect wife and mother, and although she is desperate to please, somehow never quite gets it right. Despite her frustrations, however, she remains loyal and sympathetic to her husband (even when he doesn’t deserve it!), demanding that people treat him with a respect that sadly, a woman of her time can only dream of. Plus, let’s not forget that in the film version of the musical, she’s a suffragette! + 50 points.