Based on the 2007 film of the same name and subsequent book by Jessie Nelson, Waitress is back after a premature closure in the West End at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, it returned to the New Wimbledon Theatre on 4th September and will continue on a UK tour from 11th September.
Like the ingredients of the pies made by the main character, Jenna, Waitress is carefully and lovingly prepared and presented for you to enjoy.
Lucie Jones takes the stage as Jenna, a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl, played by Tamlyn Henderson. In an effort to cope with that relationship, alongside the discovery that she is pregnant, she bakes pies using ingredients to reflect specific aspects of her troubles.
Lucie Jones is on great form as she returns to the role, and her show-stopping performance of She Used To Be Mine is worthy of a standing ovation on every rendition, which she duly received.
Nor is that the only dazzling song performance of the night. Everything Changes and the romantic duet of You Matter to Me between Dr Pomatter (Matt Willis, formerly of Busted) and Jenna are both excellent songs that allow Lucie to impress us further with her talent.
Joining Jenna in the diner are Becky (Sandra Marvin) and Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins). The trio of waitresses bounce effortlessly off each other with undeniable chemistry. Would they be friends outside of the diner? Who knows, but we’ve all been there, enjoying the company of colleagues who are utterly different to us, at least pre-covid-19 when we still worked together in the office anyway!
The band for Waitress plays on the stage, becoming part of the action, not merely an accompaniment, and the ensemble even take time in the diner for their own little character moments, playing up in the background. Each member of the new cast has made the songs very much their own, which will be a welcome treat for those of you who may have seen the show before.
In addition, they are joined by George Crawford as Ogie, Michael Starke as Old Joe, and Scarlet Gabrielle as Norma, with the cast being rounded out with Monique Ashe-Palmer, Amelia Atherton, Donal Brennan, Aimée Fisher, Nathanael Landskroner, Charlie Martin, Liam McHugh, Olivia Mitchell, and Ben Morris.
Diane Paulus directs this sentimental show that mixes in some highly visible shenanigans between Becky and Cal (Christopher D Hunt) in the kitchen. No one call the health inspectors! Choreography is by Lorin Latarro, the movements on stage are subtle but precise. The delightful song lyrics of Sara Bareilles are wonderful and fit just right into this show that is the perfect mix. The results are tasty, and everyone leaves feeling satisfied.
Book your tickets now for the 2021 – 2022 UK & Ireland Waitress tour.