Father's Day is almost upon us. For those of you who have just broken out into a cold sweat thinking you'd missed it, fear not, it's Sunday 18 June so you still have time to grab a card and get in the post. Trust us, he'll appreciate that a lot more than a text message on the day. However, if you want to go that extra mile, why not treat him to something a little more special such as tickets to a show? Even if he is one of those men that would rather pluck their own eyelashes out than sit through a tap number, don't worry there's still plenty to choose from. Here's what we'd recommend.
Gielgud Theatre, from 20 June
Jez Butterworth's epic new play, directed by Sam Mendes, opens in the West End after a sold out run at the Royal Court. Set in Northern Ireland in 1981 amidst the Troubles, Paddy Considine plays Quinn, head of the Carney clan who are preparing to celebrate their traditional harvest meal, blissfully unaware that this year's event will be stalked by their past. It's real meaty stuff, and it received sensational reviews.
School Of Rock
New London Theatre, booking until January 2018
If your dad was a bit of a rocker back in the day, is worryingly adept at the old 'air guitar' and never heard a metal track he didn't want to headbang along to, then he will have an absolute ball at Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes' rambunctious adaptation of the classic Jack Black movie. Thing is, you probably will as well: it's got heart, cracking tunes, wailing guitars, thundering drums and a cast of surprisingly unobjectionable children (remember, you were one once, too!)
Bat Out Of Hell
London Coliseum, until 5 August
Alternatively, he can re-live his rebellious youth in the unlikely setting of the ENO's home, the London Coliseum, and rock out to Meat Loaf classics such as "I'd Do Anything For Love", "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and of course the classic anthem, "Bat Out Of Hell", in this breathtaking new musical.
Girl From The North Country
The Old Vic, from 10 July
If you want to witness the old man sobbing like a big girl's blouse, you'll almost certainly achieve this by getting him tickets for the Old Vic's summer offering: a new musical play full of heartbreak, hope and sensational music, that marries the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan to a haunting script by acclaimed writer Conor McPherson, author of The Weir and Shining City.
Fiddler on the Roof
Chichester Festival Theatre, from 10 July
If you're one of a number of female siblings, why not send Dad to see the new Chichester production of this Broadway classic, starring Omid Djalili as long-suffering Tevye the milkman. Dad will be thrilled by much loved production numbers such as "If I Were A Rich Man", "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "Tradition", shed a tear at the heartrending story, and have to listen to you smugly pointing out that you never gave him as much to put up with as poor Tevye had to deal with from his five daughters.
National tour, until 25 November
Maybe Dad was a bit of a "nutty boy" back in the '80s... if so, he will adore this irresistible pop musical which sets beloved Madness songs like "It Must Be Love", "House Of Fun" and "Driving In My Car" to a funny, touching Sliding Doors-type dual storyline. Winner of the 2003 Olivier Award for Best Musical, this "Baggy Trouser"-ed crowd-pleaser tours the UK from August. Of course, if you're under about 30 you're probably going to have to ask somebody older what all these references even mean... Probably best not to point this out to him though, at least not on his special day.
La Cage aux Folles
National tour, until 26 August
This gloriously old-fashioned musical comedy is back out on tour starring John Partridge and features not one but two dads in a heartwarming and hilarious tale of a gay couple whose son falls in love with a bigoted local politician. Mayhem and cross-dressing confusion ensue and Jerry Herman's toe-tapping score includes "I Am What I Am" and "The Best Of Times".
The Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas
National tour then Theatre Royal Haymarket (13 December to 3 January)
If your dad is a fan of the classic big band sound then we're sure he'd appreciate a trip to the Nevada desert to see where Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr used to perform. If your budget won't stretch that far though, this fabulous recreation of a Rat Pack extravaganza in full swing could be coming to a venue near you soon. It's a crooner's delight.
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