By Imogen Sarre
Here we take a look at some plays and musicals that have father-child relationships at their very fore, from The Lion King, Dirty Dancing and Les Miserables to King Lear, The Winslow Boy and Goodnight Mister Tom.
Should you wish to take a DIY approach to this Father's Day (Sunday 16 June 2013), we've created some printer-friendly cards for you to download. Simply click on the image of your choice below to get the foldable PDF version.
The Lion King is a real family fave, primarily because the father-son relationship is so heart-warmingly inspirational. Mufasa isn't actually on stage for quite a considerable amount of the show, but his presence always is as Simba seeks to emulate his father's achievements and so grow into the King he needs to be.
Terence Rattigan's The Winslow Boy is based on real events. About a father's fight to clear his son's name after he's expelled from the Osborne Naval College for supposedly stealing a five-shilling postal order, the legal case mounted eventually goes down in human rights history. Lindsay Posner's recent production at The Old Vic places Arthur Winslow's pride and wholehearted belief in his son Ronnie at the fore, making it just as much about fatherly love as the fight for right.
Michelle Magorian's novel Goodnight Mister Tom has long been a children's classic. Beautifully adapted for the stage, the production well deserved its Best Entertainment and Family 2013 Olivier Award. In it, we see the remarkable and moving relationship built between nervous young evacuee Willie Beech and the gruff elderly recluse (Mister Tom) who he goes to stay with during the Blitz.
Dirty Dancing is about reconciling a wish for parental pride and approval with every child's need to grow up. Even though the terms change, Baby's relationship with her father at the end is still enormously strong and we are left with a sense that it will endure, whatever happens in her future.
In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean's adoption of Cosette rescues her from a life of drudgery and semi-slavery. In turn, she gives him a new lease of life and a reason to be good, enabling his quest for redemption to be fully realised.
King Lear is one of the most famous father-child centric plays in the world. Whether Lear is portrayed as deluded or egotistical, his rejection of his much-loved daughter Cordelia at the start of the play is almost as heartbreaking as their reunion at the play's conclusion. Derek Jacobi and Pippa Bennett-Warner were sublime in the Donmar's recent production of this.