Waitress UK Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley
21st February 2022
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 gynecologist, 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 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 well into the narrative. For this performance Aimee Fisher played Jenna and received rapturous applause for her rendition of ‘She Used To Be Mine’. Her emotions were tangible throughout the performance and Fisher really brought the character to life. Nathanael Landskroner added just the right amount of humour into his role as Dr Pomatter forming a great relationship with Fisher. Sandra Marvin’s comic one liners have 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 sets the scene perfectly as the all-American diner and the transitions are 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, is particularly good. However the follow spot light is over used and at times not quite quick enough to follow the action. The onstage band are also excellent and are 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.
This review was original written for and published by LondonTheatre1.
Photo Credit: Johan Perrson