Mrs Doubtfire the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Shaftesbury Theatre, London 
Cast: Gabriel Vick, Laura Tebbutt, Carla Dixon-Hernandez, Cameron Blakely, Marcus Collins, Frankie Treadaway and Angelica-Pearl Scott

The musical comedy MRS. DOUBTFIRE is here to save the day! Based on the beloved film, this big-hearted and hilarious new production is now dazzling and delighting audiences at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre.

Out-of-work actor Daniel will do anything for his kids. After losing custody in a messy divorce, he creates the alter ego of a Scottish nanny in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives. 

Mrs Doubtfire wasn't quite the hit on Broadway as expected when it had it's run back in 2020. Despite this, the adaptation of the cult classic film has just opened on London's West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The film is incredibly popular, so I was excited to see how the story translated on stage, and whether it would work. I'm happy to say, it absolutely does. I'd even go as far as to say it works better as a musical than it does as a film!

If you're unfamiliar with the story, it follows Daniel Hillard, an unemployed, fun-loving, father of three children. After pushing his wife to the edge with his childish antics, she files for a divorce. Due to Daniel's lifestyle, sole custody is given to his now ex-wife, Miranda. When Miranda seeks a nanny, Daniel decides to put his acting background to use and become the legendary, Mrs Doubtfire. What could possibly go wrong?

Due to Robin Williams' legendary portrayal of Mrs Doubtfire, I thought it would be near impossible to live up to the beloved character. However, Gabriel Vick was simply phenomenal; and it was almost as if the role was made for him. His comedic timing, his energy and distinctive take on the character bring a new layer of depth to Daniel Hillard. The character is more fleshed out, and we get to see a far more vulnerable side of Daniel. Vick's constant back and forth between the two characters does well to highlight his sheer talent and skill.

The Hillard children, Lydia (Dixon-Hernandez), Chris (Treadaway) and Natalie (Scott) are an unstoppable trio in this production. Carla Dixon-Hernandez plays the eldest child and her voice is mesmerising. Angelica-Pearl Scott plays the youngest child, and her acting and singing was incredibly impressive; especially considering how large her role is at such a young age.

Some films do not work well when adapted into a musical. This is not the cause for Mrs Doubtfire. The songs are catchy, memorable and every bit as over-the-top as you'd expect. The standout songs are "Make Me a Woman" and "What the Hell". Despite the many perfectly choreographed big stage numbers, there are also stripped back songs, which were beautiful. Notable favourites include, "Just Pretend" and "I Want to Be There". It's here that I must mention my favourite character of the show - Samuel Wilson-Freeman as Oscar Wilde; almost as iconic as Mrs Doubtfire herself

What I particularly loved about this more modern adaptation is the deeper look into the throes of divorce from everyone who's involved perspectives, and how to (and how not to!) navigate a change in family dynamics. It tugs on the heart strings of the audience and makes the story far more relatable. There's a lot of emphasis on what makes a family - and all you need is love; which is a heart-warming sentiment. From adoption, to foster parents, to divorced parents, to "two mummies or two daddies", to aunts, and grandparents - it's inclusive, uplifting and utterly gorgeous

If you're looking for a musical that's full of heart, warmth and a whole lot of fun, Mrs Doubtfire is the musical for you. From the exceptional ensemble to the outstanding leading man, Gabriel Vick, the talent is unmatched. One thing's for certain, I hope this musical is here to stay, dears

You can buy tickets to see Mrs Doubtfire at Shaftesbury Theatre, here.

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