My Dad and Me (with a sneak peek of my new book)

80s photograph of Sarah's dad wearing a red tshirt and jacket, looking young, with a beard. Sarah is 3 or 4 with very blonde hair, they are on a bus?
My dad and me – mid 1980s

There’s just over a month now till my book comes out. So here’s a sneak peek which I think captures why and what the book is best.

So the question of why this musical caught so many people’s imaginations, including my Dad’s, has always slightly nagged at the back of my mind. I mean, I like this musical, but I like many others a lot more. And, when I started writing this book and talked to my Dad about Les Mis, he reminded me about something I had perhaps tried to forget. After we had seen the show together, with all the righteous indignation only a teenager can muster, I was actually embarrassed by him going to see it again and again. I crossly tried to convince him to go and see anything other than this show , anything less embarrassingly musical – ish. In time, I shifted towards a more respectful appreciation of the piece, but I still did not listen to it regularly in the way I would other musicals. Over the last decade of teaching university musical theatre students, each year a new crop of students will inevitably come in Les Mis tshirts. Writing about what makes this one musical so beloved by so many people seemed a fascinating task. And then a few weeks after I started writing this book, my Dad rang me to tell me he had an advanced and incurable form of cancer that had spread into his lymph nodes. 

Pre-order now: released on July 30th 

Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables (The Fourth Wall)

“One more dawn! One more day! One day more!”

Did Les Misérables make you miserable? Or did it inspire you? When Sarah Whitfield was a teenager, her Dad frequently embarrassed her with his love of this musical above all others. So, after he was diagnosed with late stage cancer, Whitfield set out to find out why this musical meant so much to him and to its worldwide following.

In this new book, she asked her Dad and 350 other people how they felt about this musical, exploring people’s personal connections with the show. In the middle of some of the hardest moments in family life, Whitfield explores how the musical might help us deal with some of our most difficult experiences and give us hope for when ‘tomorrow comes’.

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