Waitress the Musical has long been a firm favourite of mine. Having first seen it on Broadway I’ve loved following its journey as it premiered on the West End and now, as it tours the UK. Waitress tells a heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of how strength, love and determination can conquer even the most difficult situations. With music and lyrics from the sensational Sarah Bareilles, Waitress takes you on a remarkable journey of self worth that will have you belly laughing and ugly crying in the same breath. Trapped in an abusive relationship and inconveniently pregnant, Jenna is on the pursuit of happiness. With good friends and help from the most unexpected places, this remarkable story of determination see’s Jenna achieve the seemingly impossible and prove that she is a strong independent woman who most definitely don’t need a man.
We were fortunate enough to see understudy Aimee Fisher as leading lady Jenna Hunterson and she portrayed every emotion with poise and complete believability. The audience is completely captivated by her journey and she leads this production with superb grace and presence. Alongside her, Sandra Marvin and Evelyn Hoskins bring love and laughter in equal measure. This formidable trio are loveable yet fierce, with vocals to raise the roof of the auditorium and so much energy its infectious. Of course, alongside these three are an exceptional cast and ensemble that deliver comedy and emotion with stunning ease and keep the audience hooked and enthralled throughout.
Scott Pask’s set design is simple yet impactful, transforming the stage from the claustrophobic house in which Jenna feels trapped, to the endless fields and blue skies of freedom. I love the way the orchestra is a part fo the scenery, served coffee and pie in the diner just like the cast on stage. The outstanding choreography and direction is so impressive in its detail that tiny additions such as these make the piece so fun, yet also incredibly hard hitting and thought provoking. The musical flows through a rollercoaster of emotions with a gorgeous ease that feels so natural and unforced, hitting high highs and yet punching you with undeniable power right in the gut.
Waitress is one of the most brilliantly rounded pieces of theatre on offer. It takes you on a remarkably heart-wrenching journey and yet has an astonishing ability to have an entire audience laughing out loud mere moments after wiping away tears. It’s a story that has something for everyone, old or young, male or female; with good friends, strength, determination and most importantly kindness – you can achieve anything.
This phenomenal musical had the audience at Curve Leicester instantly up on their feet in appreciation. With an exceptional story, phenomenal cast and undeniably catchy score, Waitress is a slice of heaven that should not be missed.
Waitress is at Curve, Leicester until Saturday 29th January before continuing its tour across the UK. For tickets and information click here.
*Production Images by Johan Persson
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