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Waitress at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley | Review

Direct from its success in London’s West End, Waitress is based upon the 2007 film of the same name and tells the story of Jenna Hunterson, a waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl. When Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she begins an affair with her gynaecologist, Dr Jim Pomatter. Looking for ways out, she sees a pie contest and its grand prize as her chance. Featuring original music and lyrics by 7-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) Waitress is uplifting-yet-sensitive, full of heart and comedy and a gorgeous score.

WAITRESS. Sandra Marvin 'Becky', Chelsea Halfpenny 'Jenna' and Evelyn Hoskins 'Dawn'. Photo Johan Persson.
WAITRESS. Sandra Marvin ‘Becky’, Chelsea Halfpenny ‘Jenna’ and Evelyn Hoskins ‘Dawn’. Photo Johan Persson.

Waitress will have your mouth watering at the sight of the copious amounts of pie and your heart sing at the sweet storyline. Whilst the plot itself is fairly predictable it is certainly directed well by Diane Paulus. The emotional storyline of domestic abuse, whilst not directly shown, is dealt with superbly. Audience members have already quoted Waitress as being the reason they left their abusive relationship which stands testament to the value theatre can have upon people. Waitress is a comedy musical and is full of witty one-liners, larger than life characters and clever humour. However fundamentally, it is about friendship, love and acceptance.

The cast are excellent at working in unison during Lorin Latarro’s slick choreography and sequenced movements which are cleverly interwoven into the narrative. For this performance, Aimee Fisher played Jenna and she received rapturous applause for her rendition of ‘She Used To Be Mine’. Her emotions are tangible throughout the performance and Fisher really brings the character to life. Nathanael Landskroner adds just the right amount of humour into his role as Dr Pomatter forming a great relationship with Fisher. Sandra Marvin’s comic one-liners has the audience laughing throughout and Evelyn Hoskins plays Dawn with a child-like charm. George Crawford is perfect as larger than life, quirky character Ogie.

The touring set design, by Scott Pask, is almost identical to the West End production setting the scene perfectly as the all-American diner and the transitions were executed well. Ken Billington’s lighting helps to add the extra touches and the lighting during Jenna’s daydreams, or ‘pie-tudes’ as Diane Paulus refers to them and is particularly good. However, the follow spotlight was overused and at times not quite quick enough to follow the action. The onstage band is also excellent and is often involved in scenes as patrons of Joe’s Pie Diner.

Featuring a heart-warming storyline and superb score Waitress is an enjoyable night out. It is certain to make your mouth water and heart sing. So don’t miss out on your slice of pie during this UK Tour.

4 stars

Review by Amanda Reynolds

Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of some happiness in her life. When a hot new doctor, Matt Willis (Busted, Wicked, A Christmas Carol) arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.

Brought to life by a ground-breaking, female-led creative team, this “warm, witty, wise and hilarious” (Express) hit features “one of the best scores in years” (The Stage) by the Grammy award-winning Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave) a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony® Award-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland).

Remaining Tour Dates

21 – 26 FEBRUARY 2022

CHURCHILL THEATRE BROMLEY
churchilltheatre.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

1 – 5 MARCH 2022
BELFAST GRAND OPERA HOUSE
goh.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

8 – 12 MARCH 2022
NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL
theatreroyal.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

21 – 26 MARCH 2022
THEATRE ROYAL PLYMOUTH
theatreroyal.com
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

28 MARCH – 2 APRIL 2022
LLANDUDNO VENUE CYMRU
venuecymru.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

5 – 9 APRIL 2022
EDEN COURT INVERNESS
eden-court.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

12 – 16 APRIL 2022
GLASGOW KING’S THEATRE
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced

25 – 30 APRIL 2022
OXFORD NEW THEATRE
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

9 – 14 MAY 2022
LIVERPOOL EMPIRE
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

16 – 21 MAY 2022
BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
birminghamhippodrome.com
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

24 – 28 MAY 2022
THE MAYFLOWER, SOUTHAMPTON
mayflower.org.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

30 MAY – 4 JUNE 2022
WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF
wmc.org.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

7 – 18 JUNE 2022
BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE DUBLIN
bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

20 – 25 JUNE 2022
TORQUAY PRINCESS THEATRE
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

28 JUNE – 2 JULY 2022
WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE
grandtheatre.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

4 – 9 JULY 2022
DARTFORD ORCHARD THEATRE
orchardtheatre.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

11 – 16 JULY 2022
BRIGHTON THEATRE ROYAL
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

18 – 23 JULY 2022
NOTTINGHAM ROYAL CONCERT HALL
trch.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

25 – 30 JULY 2022
BRADFORD ALHAMBRA
bradford-theatres.co.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

1 – 6 AUGUST 2022
CANTERBURY MARLOWE THEATRE
marlowetheatre.com
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

9 – 13 AUGUST 2022
SOUTHEND CLIFFS PAVILION
southendtheatres.org.uk
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

15 – 20 AUGUST 2022
NORWICH THEATRE ROYAL
norwichtheatre.org
Chelsea Halfpenny – Jenna. Casting for the roles of Becky, Dawn and Dr Pomatter to be announced.

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