Sometimes a show becomes your new favourite, you have no idea why, apart from the fact that you were enthralled from curtain to curtain. That is how I left The Waitress Uk tour, At The Opera House Manchester last night. As soon as the curtain went up it had me. With a genius score that feels like it wraps its arms around you and pulls you in, its catchy and fun, but also draws you into the characters in such a wonderful way.
Waitress is a show I have wanted to see for so long. One of those shows you know is revered, award wining and much loved the world over. I knew several of the tracks from listening to the legend that is EP on a Sunday, however I never really knew the full story.
I also wasn’t aware of what a multi faceted production Waitress is, it’s not a musical, nor a comedy, or a romance, it’s everything. A glorious pie with all the ingredients to make it the best “Theatre feel good pie” ever.
Waitress Uk Tour 2021 Review, Manchester
Jenna (The incredible Lucie Jones) is the long suffering wife in an abusive relationship with the insufferable Earl (Nathanael Landskroner). This is all made bearable by her love for baking pie’s and the friendships she has made with Becky (Sandra Marvin), Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins), Cal (Christopher D.Hunt), and owner Joe (Michael Starke) at Joe’s Diner.
Just like life, everyone at the diner has their own stuff to deal with and differing personalities. However, this is what draws this odd mix of people together. Work is a release from life, where they can be themselves, share secrets, and be each others biggest champions.
Waitress starts as Jenna finds out she is pregnant, of course this is the worst news. Being the child of an abusive father and a mum who did her best to protect her, she doesn’t want a child to see what she saw growing up. Thus she devises a plan to enter and win a pie competition, take the winnings and leave town to escape Earl.
However life gets in the way. Especially when she meets Dr. Pommatter (Matt Jay-Wills) the new doctor in town, during her first antenatal appointment. They instantly feel a connection, that wow moment everyone wants to feel in their life.
But Waitress Is Not All About Jenna
It has a wonderful way of making you fall in love with each and every character. You leave feeling like you know them all. Becky and her warm bravado and the burden she carries, Cal and his hard front, that hides a beautiful soft man inside, owner grumpy Joe (Who I fell head over heels in love with).
And its impossible to not adore Dawn with her OCD and geeky tendencies. Following her journey as she meets the love of her life Ogie (George Crawford).
You would think this wouldn’t work? However, navigating through life with these amazeballs people is a journey I will never forget. I laughed, not just me, the whole theatre, almost as if we were on a game show and someone was holding up a laughter card. The laughter was rapturous, it was hilarious, rude but not crude. Just funny, so funny, the type of joy that can lift a whole theatre.
The Waitress Uk Tour Has You Feeling All The Emotions
Yet, there were moments so tender that the theatre was silent, you could have heard a pin drop. But then before I knew it I was crying, tears streaming down my face, but I was also smiling. I mean how do you do that, I don’t know, but Waitress did?
I am not going to tell you the story, what happens and how it ends because I can never do Waitress Justice. What I will say is, go see it, it’s a glorious play, musical and comedy all in one. It has you feeling all the feelings and makes you fall in love with every character. This was the quickest and loudest standing ovation I have even seen, the whole house was up and cheering.
Waitress is at the Opera House Manchester until 20th November and on tour thorough the UK into 2022, with tickets from £13.
I was gifted these tickets for review purposes, but all opinions are my own. And you can’t argue with the most glorious production, that has you wanting to go back for more. Check here for more theatre reviews.