A complete guide to all the songs in 'Mrs. Doubtfire'
Learn more about the songs in Mrs. Doubtfire from song-writing brothers Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick, including "That's Daniel" and "Playing with Fire."
Wonderful news, dearies! The West End run of Mrs. Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre has been extended to 25 February 2025.
Mrs. Doubtfire is based on the 1993 Hollywood film starring Robin Williams, which was in turn inspired by Anne Fine’s children’s novel Madame Doubtfire. It tells the story of recently divorced father Daniel Hillard, who disguises himself as a Scottish nanny in order to spend more time with his children and learns how to be a better parent in the process.
In a London Theatre review, our critic praised the “ecstatically camp makeover number” and the “uproariously over-the-top flamenco number that elevates the film’s infamous restaurant scene." You can listen to the 2021 original Broadway cast recording starring Rob McClure and Jenn Gambatese, who played Daniel and Miranda Hillard, although some changes to the score were made for the North American tour and London productions. Learn more about song-writing brothers Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick’s exuberant, disco-influenced score.
Book Mrs. Doubtfire tickets on London Theatre.
The opening number sets the scene: Daniel and Miranda’s marriage is in trouble and they’re having counselling. Businesswoman Miranda is fed up with out-of-work actor Daniel’s irresponsible and childish behaviour. The final straw comes when he takes the children out of school for a wild party to celebrate middle child Christopher’s birthday despite his poor maths grade. Divorce is imminent.
"I Want to Be There"
The judge gives Miranda sole custody and Daniel is only permitted weekly supervised visits. He sings about his devotion to his children and the judge tells him that if he can find stable employment and suitable accommodation, he can apply for joint custody in three months’ time.
"Try a Little Harder"
Daniel is on a mission to turn things around. Miranda has advertised for a nanny and Daniel calls under the guise of Scottish supernanny Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. An interview is arranged.
"Make Me a Woman"
It’s makeover time with a disco-style number. Daniel enlists the help of his brother Frank and his partner Andre, who are professional make-up artists, to come up with a suitable disguise. Grace Kelly, Princess Diana, and Madonna are among their feminine ideals but as Mrs. Doubtfire is a substantial and mature lady, “Eleanor Roosevelt / A dash of Julia Child / Margaret Thatcher / Janet Reno / And a little bit of Oscar Wilde” are more suitable inspirations. They settle on a prosthetic mask and the famous plaid skirt and blue cardigan.
"What the Hell"
Mrs. Doubtfire comes to the house to meet the children. Eldest child Lydia feels that her father is being replaced by the nanny and expresses her frustration about the adults acting like children. Christopher and little sister Natalie wonder if they are at fault too.
"The Mr. Jolly Show"
Daniel, in his second job as a janitor in a TV studio, catches a recording of “The Mr. Jolly Show,” an old-fashioned children’s programme starring the hapless Mr. Jolly and his deficient puppetry skills. Daniel voices his disgust – to the head of programming.
Mrs. Doubtfire is proving an effective disciplinarian and the children are warming to her despite her strictness but she’s struggling with the cookery side of the job. Siri suggests some simple recipes but the terminology is far from straightforward and Mrs. Doubtfire’s prosthetic chest catches fire! Disaster!
Back at the TV studio, Mr. Jolly is unable to get to grips with a new loop machine. Daniel demonstrates his beat-boxing skills and improvises a new routine with the puppets teaching children how to tell the time. Janet is impressed and suggests the possibility of him fronting a new children’s show.
On Cloud Nine, Daniel rocks out, celebrating his improvement in mastering domestic skills and the children’s recent successes. Then Christopher walks in on Mrs. Doubtfire with her mask half on and calls Lydia – Mrs. Doubtfire is really their dad!
"The Shape of Things to Come"
Miranda is launching her new clothing line M’Body, but the plus-size model cancels at the last minute. Her business associate Stuart suggests Mrs. Doubtfire as a replacement and she steals the show, performing a surprise rap.
"Big Fat No"
Stuart confides in Mrs. Doubtfire that he would like to date Miranda. A jealous Daniel attempts to dissuade him.
A ballad for Miranda, in which she reflects on how she and Daniel turned into very different people and yet how painful it was to end their marriage.
"Clean it Up / What the Hell" (Reprise)
The children visit Daniel at his apartment and are pleasantly surprised by how civilised it is.
"Playing with Fire"
Daniel is confronted about his reckless behaviour by Wanda, his case worker, in this gospel-influenced number. Everyone knows this deception is going to end badly and Mrs. Doubtfire has to go – so when will he admit the truth?
“Welcome to La Rosa”/ "He Lied to Me"
Daniel is required to attend Miranda’s birthday party as Mrs. Doubtfire but Janet wants to discuss the children’s show at the same time in the same restaurant – what could go wrong with all those quick changes? The farcical goings on take place alongside the restaurant entertainment, a flamenco song about a woman whose lover already has a wife.
Lydia and Daniel have a heart-to-heart in this emotional ballad. She’s worried that if her parents’ love has ended, her dad’s love for her could end too. They decide to “make a new picture now / And hang it on our wall.”
"As Long as There is Love"
Daniel is the star of a hugely successful kids’ show, in which he plays all the characters, including Mrs. Doubtfire. He reads a letter from a viewer called Katie, whose parents have split up and she’s worried that they aren’t a “real” family. He assures her that all kinds of families are equally valid. The whole family arrive (including Frank and Andre, who have recently adopted a baby girl) and they pose for a group photo.
There are two reprises of “I Want to Be There” and a reprise of “The Mr. Jolly Song,” as well as an “Entr’acte.” On the cast album, you can hear “What’s Wrong with this Picture?” (replaced with “That’s Daniel”) and “Clean Up This Mess” (replaced with “Clean it Up.”)
Book Mrs. Doubtfire tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: Mrs. Doubtfire cast. (Photo by Manuel Harlan)
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