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Disney’s The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre (Photo: Dewynters Photography)

Disney's The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (Photo: Dewynters Photography)

The bad dads of the West End

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements First Published 13 June 2018, Last Updated 13 June 2018

From all of us at Official London Theatre, we just want to wish all the father figures out there a very happy Dad Day! Father, grandad, uncle, older brother… whoever you’re celebrating this Sunday, make them feel special. Because, even though they embarrass you with bad jokes and pictures of you in the bath, they’re great! To remind you just how great they are, here are some bad dads from West End shows that will show you how amazing yours really is.

Mr Wormwood from Matilda The Musical

Most of us have probably called our dad a bit of a Del Boy, but Mr Wormwood takes the biscuit… and the car radio… and that dodgy computer. Not only does he miss-gender and often forget Matilda, he tries to stop her reading, provokes the Russian mob and lets Michael – Matilda’s brother – turn into a brain-dead coach potato. Throw in the cringey fashion taste and the hair-brained schemes and we’re pretty sure he’s set to win the worst dad award.

Scar from The Lion King

Okay. Simba had a brilliant dad. But when Mufasa died, Scar stepped up as king and essentially the father figure. Not only did he try to kill Simba but he makes the young cub believe he’s responsible for his dad’s death, steals his kingdom, let’s a bunch of hyena’s ruin the land and then has the cheek to fight Simba when he comes back to claim the throne. Makes dad hogging the remote seem pretty tame now, doesn’t it?

Sam, Harry and Bill from Mamma Mia!

So technically it’s not really their fault they’re absent fathers. But the trio of lovers must have had an inkling that Donna was hiding something – other than the other men. Each of them claim to be Sophie’s father and want to walk her down the aisle. And absent or not, Sophie’s shenanigans to meet her father lead to *SPOILER ALERT* her wedding being cancelled! Talk about dads driving a person nuts.

Les Misérables at The Queen's Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Thénardier from Les Mis

It’s easy to forget that Jean Valjean isn’t the only father(ish) in Les Mis. Double-dealing Thénardier is, too. Fostering kids for labour and selling them onto absolute randos is pretty despicable behaviour. And the way he treats his real daughter, Eponine? Let’s just say that there’s a reason everyone forgets he’s a dad.

Mr Mooneyham from School Of Rock

We all have dreams. But what if your dad doesn’t listen to them? Worse, what if you’re really good at something and your dad bans you from doing it? That’s exactly what Zack’s dad does in School Of Rock. The overbearing father disapproves of his talented son playing rock music crushing his self-belief and confidence. Thankfully, Zack had Dewey to push him in the right direction. And when Dewey Finn is more supportive than you as a father, you know you’ve gone wrong somewhere down the line.

Doug Hastings from Strictly Ballroom The Musical

Don’t get us wrong, we love Doug Hastings, but a meek father who doesn’t help when needed and is so obsessed with the past that he’s little more than an empty shell does not a good dad make. Whacky dance moves aside, we hope your dad doesn’t draw too many parallels…

Feeling a bit closer to your dear old pops? Why not treat him to a West End show for Father’s Day?


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