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.
Despite a rocky start, with Lance giving his son Francois ultimatums left right and centre, the two grow closer throughout & Juliet. Lance accepts his son for who he is, what he wants and who he loves, which in my book is pretty good parenting. Plus, they’re in a family boy band together – what better way to bond.
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.
Atticus is often held up as an example of great parenting. Speaking to his kids as equals; encouraging them to make up their own minds; not shying away from ugly truths or difficult topics and teaching them to be kind and understanding. And all this as a single parent – though of course, he’s helped hugely by Calpurnia, the Finch housekeeper with whom he has a close relationship. Rafe Spall’s performance as Atticus is especially warm and charismatic, bringing the character based on Harper Lee’s own father to new life.
When we are first introduced to Larry we see a complicated father son relationship with Connor, the kind that some parents go through when their son turns into a teenager. As the story goes on we learn that Larry used to love playing with his children when they were younger and as he comes to terms with the loss of his son it’s as if he gains a new one in Evan.