As larger Theatre’s start to reopen their doors to capacity audiences again, after many being closed since March 2020. New Wimbledon Theatre has opened its doors with the West End smash hit production Waitress. Gala night saw press and familiar television faces from Fay Ripley, Danny Walters and Claire Sweeney to name but a few take their seats for a superb night of musical entertainment.
Starring Lucie Jones as Jenna and ex busted star Matt Jay-Willis in the role of Dr Pomatter. The book by Jessie Nelson tells the story about Jenna’s escape from an unhappy violent controlling relationship into the happier life that she works extremely hard to achieve. Alongside her are the two fellow waitresses Becky (Sandra Marvin), Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins) and the long-suffering diner manager Cal (Christopher. D.Hunt).
Taking sugar, flour and butter pies are whipped up in abundance for sale in the diner. Jenna inherits her gift of baking from her deceased Mum who taught her everything she knows in the culinary department. While growing up the family kitchen was their safe place to retreat to when her Father was having yet another violent episode.
Music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles are performed by the cast members and accompanied by the highly accomplished Waitress Band. Jenna was given a standing ovation after her outstanding powerful performance of “She Used To Be Mine” which she thoroughly deserved.
It’s refreshing to watch a performance where the happy ending isn’t predictable which empowers the female protagonist into an independent solvent position. She reclaims her life and builds the life for herself and her daughter that she whole heartedly deserves.
Without seeing the original musical when it was running in the West End I didn’t have anything to compare the revamped touring production to and was able to review it from a fresh perspective without preconceived ideas or expectations. It’s a really good evening’s entertainment packed with some very good musical numbers. Ingenious pie creative names and catchy songs. Now playing at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 11th September 2021 as part of their UK and Ireland tour.