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Waitress - UK and Ireland Tour - Nottingham

The musical adaptation of the 2007 movie Waitress has enjoyed successful runs in London's West End and on Broadway. The show has been on an extensive UK and Ireland Tour and the Diner has opened its doors in Nottingham for the first time offering a sweet and delicious evening of musical theatre.

Evelyn Hoskins 'Dawn', Chelsea Halfpenny 'Jenna' and Wendy Mae Brown 'Becky'. Photo by Johan Persson

The show is based on Adrienne Shelly's movie screenplay the musical follows Jenna, a baker, and waitress who is struggling to live with her abusive partner and when she becomes pregnant and this inspires her to want to change her life and her own destiny. 

Central to the story is the role of Jenna played here by a simply phenomenal Chelsea Halfpenny. Right from the opening scene as she strides onto the centre of the stage surrounded by baking equipment you are in safe hands. You instantly connect and warm to the character and Chelsea as a performer. Throughout the show, she carries Jenna's highs and lows with a real skill that is deeply touching to watch. Her voice is mesmerising too, creating the most beautiful smooth sound, her rendition of the big second act solo 'She Used To Be Mine' will have you reaching to dab the tears away. The kind of performance that will stay with you long after the performance is over.

Chelsea Halfpenny 'Jenna'. Photo by Johan Persson

Two further magnificent performances come from Evelyn Hoskins as Dawn and Wendy Mae Brown as Becky. Both manage to characterise the roles really well and light up the stage in every moment. Evelyn manages to carry Dawn's transformation bursting out from her shyness with a real likeable warm charm. Wendy has one heck of a strong voice that carries real power and she is hilarious to watch at delivering the comedy and commanding the stage with real assurance and confidence.  

David Hunter returns to the show as Dr. Pomatter having played the role to much acclaim in the West End and he is perfectly suited to the role. Her carries out the initial cartoonish clumsiness well whilst constantly growing as a character throughout. There are further wonderful characters with constantly frustrated Christopher D. Hunt being a joy to watch throughout as Cal and George Crawford's larger-than-life Ogie is wonderful and matches well with Evelyn as Dawn. Understudy Nathanael Landskroner is the right amount of nasty as Earl, Jenna's abusive partner, a wholly unpleasant character.

Away from the fantastic performances throughout the company, one of the biggest draws of the show is the soundtrack by Sara Bareilles. It's a gorgeous collection of songs, some will make you smile and laugh others will move you to tears. The score is brought to life by a great on-stage orchestra under musical director Ellen Campbell

Waitress is like eating a lovely warm pie, the layers all combine to make for a tasty treat that will leave you feeling uplifted by the end. It's all baked together and realised with superb performances and characters. You'll leave the theatre with a song in your heart and the urge to stop off for a slice of pastry goodness! Gorgeous.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Waitress continues at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 23rd July with tickets available from The tour continues with 4 more venues, Bradford, Canterbury, Southend, and Norwich, left. Visit for booking details.

David Hunter 'Dr Pomatter' and Chelsea Halfpenny 'Jenna'. Photo by Johan Persson

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