REVIEW: Mrs Doubtfire – Shaftsbury Theatre – London


Mrs Doubtfire, the beloved film-turned-musical, has finally graced the West End stage with a heartwarming and entertaining production. Directed by the acclaimed Jerry Zaks and featuring a talented cast, including Gabriel Vick leading the cast, the show brings to life the charming story of a father going to extraordinary lengths to reconnect with his family.

Gabriel Vick takes centre-stage as Daniel Hillard/Mrs Doubtfire, delivering an absolutely faultless performance that is both hilarious and heartwarming. With impeccable comedic timing, hilarious impressions and a natural charm, Vick effortlessly embodies the lovable, bumbling father who goes to extraordinary lengths to reconnect with his family. His stage presence is captivating, and his ability to seamlessly transition between the characters of Daniel and Mrs Doubtfire showcases his versatility as a performer.

Laura Tebbutt, in the role of Miranda Hillard, captivates the audience with her soaring voice and brilliant acting. She brings depth and vulnerability to Miranda, especially in the more emotional moments of the show, allowing the audience to empathise with her journey. Tebbutt’s powerful vocals and nuanced portrayal add layers of complexity to the character, making her portrayal truly memorable.

Carla Dixon-Hernandez, as Lydia Hillard, proves to be a rising star with her incredible standout voice. Her vocal prowess shines in every musical number she is a part of, and her performance is filled with energy and passion. With her impressive talent and undeniable stage presence, Dixon-Hernandez is undoubtedly a performer to watch, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her take on leading roles in future West End productions.

Cameron Blakely excels in the role of Frank Hillard, Daniel’s eccentric and comedic brother. Blakely’s comedic timing is impeccable, and he effortlessly draws many laughs from the audience with his witty delivery and physical comedy. He fully embraces the quirks and nuances of his character, adding a delightful dynamic to the show’s dynamic.

The ensemble cast of Mrs Doubtfire is a true highlight of the production. Their dedication and hard work are evident in every scene, and their synchroniaed dancing is both impressive and visually stunning. Each ensemble member brings their own unique flair to their roles, and their commitment to their characters shines through. Notably, Lisa Mathieson’s portrayal of Nigella Lawson and the Flamenco Dancer stands out as a memorable comedic highlight, adding an extra layer of hilarity to the production.

In our performance, Frankie Treadaway and Angelica-Pearl Scott alternated in the roles of Christopher and Natalie Hillard. Both young performers showcased incredible talent and held their own alongside the adult cast members. Treadaway and Scott captured the essence of their characters with remarkable maturity and delivered performances that were heartwarming and authentic.

Special mention must be made of Micha Richardson as Janet Lundy, who delivers a standout performance and adds an extra layer of brilliance to the production. Her portrayal is nuanced and captivating, contributing to the depth of the overall ensemble cast.

Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick’s original music and lyrics infuse the show with an upbeat and enjoyable soundtrack. While there may not be many instantly catchy songs, the standout number “Make Me a Woman” showcases the talents of the cast and leaves a lasting impression. The duo’s book adaptation, along with the contributions of John O’Farrell, lovingly brings forward elements from the beloved film while adding modern touches that resonate with contemporary audiences.

Under the direction of Tony-winner Jerry Zaks, Mrs Doubtfire hits all the right notes. Zaks masterfully balances the comedic and poignant moments of the story, ensuring that the audience is fully engaged throughout. His skillful direction allows the cast to shine while maintaining a cohesive and compelling narrative flow.

Lorin Latarro’s choreography is a standout element of the production. From lively group numbers to intricate solo performances, Latarro’s choreography injects energy and enthusiasm into the show. The dance sequences are executed with precision and finesse, leaving the audience beaming with joy.

David Korins’ set design is nothing short of spectacular. The seamless transitions and large-scale set pieces create a visually stunning backdrop for the story. The sets appear and disappear with great effect, transporting the audience from one scene to another with a touch of theatrical magic.

Catherine Zuber’s costume design is consistently excellent, capturing the essence of each character and enhancing their individual personalities. The costumes seamlessly blend with the overall aesthetic of the production and contribute to the authenticity of the characters’ portrayals.

Philip S Rosenberg’s lighting design adds depth and atmosphere to the show, effectively highlighting key moments and enhancing the overall visual appeal. Brian Ronan’s sound design ensures that every note and dialogue is clear and well-balanced, contributing to an immersive auditory experience. David Brian Brown’s hair design further enhances the characters’ transformations, particularly in the case of Mrs Doubtfire.

Mrs Doubtfire is a collaborative triumph, with each creative element working harmoniously to bring the story to life. The collective efforts of the talented cast and creative team create a truly enchanting and unforgettable experience on the West End stage.

Mrs Doubtfire on the West End is a delightful theatrical experience that leaves the audience thoroughly entertained. With stellar performances, enchanting music, and exceptional creative elements, this heartwarming and modernised adaptation is a must-see for fans of the original film and newcomers alike. I expect we will see this exceptional show dominating the West End for years to come!

Tickets available here*

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