Ah, Mothering Sunday. The day in which children all across the country celebrate their lovely mummies and all they have done for them. But what about the fantastic mothers in musicals? Don’t they deserve to be shown some love on this very special day? They certainly do! Here are the FIVE GREATEST Mothers in Musical Theatre:
5) Mrs Johnstone, Blood Brothers
Blood Brothers may have closed nearly three years ago, but who could forget dear old Mrs J? For more than twenty-four years audiences bawled their eyes out over the story of a mother who sold a twin, meeting with devastating consequences. She was no angel, but even the toughest of men found it hard to hold back the tears whilst Mrs Johnstone belted out Tell Me It’s Not True at the end of each show.
4) Fantine, Les Miserables (Queen's Theatre)
Oh Fantine. Beautiful, woeful Fantine. She may have dreamed the dream, but unfortunately even that wasn’t enough to save her. Forced into prostitution to pay for her illegitimate child Cosette, she met her untimely end before she could watch her daughter grow up. Even on her death bed Fantine sacrificed a lot for her child, making her the brave and caring mother everyone loves.
3) Edna Turnblad, Hairspray
Tracy’s larger-then-life fiery mother Edna Turnblad had a heart of gold, and loved her family more than anything in the world. Whilst lacking in self-esteem, she was quick to help her daughter when faced with trouble and luckily had that love returned. It’s safe to assume that mother’s day would be very well celebrated in the Turnblad household!
2) Kim, Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre)
Another powerful character from a Schonberg/Boublil musical, and they don’t get much more tragic then Kim. Orphaned by war. Separated from the love of her life. A single mother at seventeen. Then to top it all off, she made the ultimate heart breaking sacrifice in order to save her son. Kim put her child’s needs before her own, and you can’t help but wonder how little Tam would we spending this day…
1) Mama Rose, Gypsy (Savoy Theatre)
Who else was possibly worthy enough to take up this top spot? Although critic Clive Barnes once described the character as "bossy, demanding [and] horrific”, everything she did was in June and Herbie’s best interest (or, so she thought). Putting her selfishness and longing for stardom aside, Mama Rose’s heart was in the right place, earning her the superior title of the greatest mother in musical theatre!
Happy Mother’s Day!
To my own mother, Ruth. Thank you for everything.