In honour of Fathers Day this year, we’re doing a recce of our favourite West End dads and dad figures. From boy-band leaders to inspirational lawyers to literal kings, these dads of the West End prove there’s no one way to be a good parent.
I think we’ve all wondered whether we’d be friends with our family members if we met them in another context. In Back To The Future, Marty McFly gets to put this question to the test, travelling back in time and ending up having to coach his own dad to get together with his mum.
I don’t think you can really call them spoilers when the film’s been out for nearly 40 years, but just in case let’s just say that George and Marty’s friendship is beneficial to the both of them. Marty inspires his dad to stand up to bullies, and seeing his dad as a teenager teaches Marty to understand him better.
Sam, Bill & Harry
Donna has done a stellar job of raising Sophie by herself. With a little help from the inhabitants of the Greek island they live on, showing that it really does take a village, Sophie has everything she needs in a parent (is there ever a dry eye in the house when Donna sings Slipping Through My Fingers). But when her curiosity gets the better of her, Mamma Mia proves that biology isnt everything, as Sophie develops a relationship with not one but three great dads, who all interact with her in a different way.
Anyone who’s seen the film can picture Walter uptight and disappointed face when an overgrown Christmas elf rocks up in his office and tells him that he’s his son. Without spoiling how it all goes, let’s just say that it’s a learning curve for everyone and it would hardly be an uplifting Christmas classic if love didn’t win the day. It’s a lovely story of how it’s sometimes actually the son that shapes the father, and Walter eventually makes it off the naughty list!
After stealing a loaf of bread and being branded a criminal, Jean Valjean becomes a gentleman thanks to the benevolence of a priest. He uses his newfound wealth and status for good, helping those in need. When her mother dies, Jean Valjean promises to look after her daughter and rescues Cossette from the debauchery and dirt of the Thenardiers’ household. Becoming a father figure to her, Valjean constantly puts himself at risk to care for her and eventually help the man she loves. He’s pretty much the hero of Les Mis.
So much of the story of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – in-between hopping around in time and trying to save the world – is about the relationship between Harry and Albus Potter. With Albus struggling to find his feet and live up to the expectations placed on him, Harry also struggles to bond with or help his son at the beginning of the play. As the kids become increasingly in danger, their parents must step in and overcome their own issues to save not only their children, but the fate of the future.