The Strand, London
Previewed: 8 February 2019
Opened: 7 March 2019
Booking to: 19 October 2019
Buy tickets:Buy tickets online
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Covent Garden
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows
Runs ? hours and ? minutes
£? to £?
(plus booking fees if applicable)
The West End transfer of the hit Broadway musical Waitress in London starring Katharine McPhee
Jenna Hunterson is a waitress, and expert pie maker, who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. During a baking contest the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start but, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness, Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
Please note that this stage musical is suitable for ages 10 and above.
The cast, from Monday 17 June 2019, features Lucie Jones as 'Jenna Hunterson', Ashley Roberts as 'Dawn', and Blake Harrison as 'Ogie'. Please note that casting is subject to change without notice.
Directed by Diane Paulus with choreography by Lorin Latarro, sets by Scott Pask, costumes by Suttirat Anne Larlarb, lighting by Ken Billington, and sound by Jonathan Deans. Waitress the stage musical is based upon the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelley, this stage musical production is written by Jessie Nelson with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles.
Lucie Jones was first seen in the British ITV reality television show The X-Factor in 2009, when she came in eighth place. In 2017 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Never Give Up on You'. Ashley Roberts was a member of the The Pussycat Dolls. She took part on the British ITV reality show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2012, finishing in second place. In 2018 she took part in the 2018 British ITV reality show Strictly Come Dancing when she came joint runner up. Blake Harrison is best-known for playing the role of 'Neil Sutherland' in the UK E4 television comedy series The Inbetweeners. He also played the role of 'Private Pike' in the 2016 film version of the British television sit-com Dad's Army.
The original West End cast featured Katharine McPhee as 'Jenna Hunterson' (up to 15 June 2019) with Marisha Wallace as 'Becky', Laura Baldwin as 'Dawn', Peter Hannah as 'Earl Hunterson', David Hunter as 'Dr Jim Pomatter', Shaun Prendergast as 'Joe', Jack McBrayer as 'Ogie', Stephen Leask as 'Cal', Kelly Agbowu as 'Nurse Norma', Fifi Christophers and Arabella Duffy share the role of 'Lulu', Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Christopher McGuigan, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Charlotte Riby, Michael Hamway, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, and Mark Wilshire.
When this production opened here at the Adelphi Theatre in March 2019, Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph praised how "Diane Paulus's production combines supreme polish with a wonderfully uptempo, rushed-off-its-feet inventiveness... The evening builds towards the resolution of that personal crisis - and achieves some hard-won hope for the future. It gets there by spinning adroitly between seriousness and skittishness, avoiding treacly sentimentality and glibness." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard commented that "though some of its ingredients are fluffy or icky it eventually whisks up a satisfying mixture of whimsy, warmth and sadness... Diane Paulus’s production is fluent without being unpalatably slick." Ann Treneman in the Times thought that "this is one for the XX chromosome brigade, a grown-up Legally Blonde. The male characters are a bit shallow and cartoony and the women, particularly Jenna and her two waitress friends Becky and Dawn, have almost all the good lines... The idea of mom and apple pie is a cliche, of course, but this story really does end up centring on both. So anyone for a slice of Five Star Musical pie? Don't mind if I do." Neil Norman in the Daily Express said that "there is nothing subtle about Diana Paulus's production for pies made by our heroine Jenna, it is a conventional story dressed up with excellent songs by Sara Bareilles... The surprisingly raunchy scenes don't quite mesh with the air of small-town fairy tale but the music and performances keep the topping fresh and tasty." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times highlighted how "it contains a palpable strain of sentiment, but not so strong as to trip up the narrative... The happy ending feels calculated rather than organic, and in the end that near-understanding of all that pie can stand for is spoiled by a sickly final course." Michael Billington in the Guardian explained that this "is a mix of realistic story and wish-fulfilling fable blessed with a punchy score by Sara Bareilles... The performances, in Diane Paulus’s lively production, are very much part of the show’s appeal... a show that has a fair share of schlock but a genuinely warm heart." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail described how "by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour kook-fest I was kinda smitten... The joy of the show is mostly in Jenna's two hearty waitress friends at the diner where she works." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper wrote that "This is both a romcom set in the workplace and a feminist drama... There are moments of discomfort in Jessie Nelson's deft book but it says a lot for the fast sass that the spot-on cast in Diane Paulus's production mostly manage to give these elisions a good humour and humanity."
Katharine McPhee played the role of 'Jenna Hunterson' for four months on Broadway in New York. Her other credits include playing the featured role of 'Karen Cartwright' in NBC's 2012 musical drama television series Smash. Diane Paulus' London credits include Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016 and 2017, and the 2010 revival of Hair the Musical at the Gielgud Theatre.
"Starring American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, Broadway hit Waitress does its darndest to butter up West End audiences with its belting songs, tug-at-the-heartstrings storylines and comic interludes. McPhee's powerhouse vocals, if a little distant, impress as pregnant Southern Belle Jenna. Trapped in an abusive marriage, her escape is her talent for making pies. Based on the 2007 movie, the plot centres on a Southern diner where Jenna and her besties crack jokes to get them through life's bitter blows... At times bittersweet, audiences will relish a slice of this pie." The Sunday Mirror
"'She Used To Be Mine', one of singer songwriter Sara Bareilles’s stand-out numbers in this Broadway hit musical... In the song, the pregnant, pie-making waitress trapped in an abusive marriage, whose self-esteem has sunk lower than a collapsed soufflé, asks what happened to ‘the girl that I knew’ who now ‘gets used by a man who can’t love’... the number does stirring justice to an upbeat show, the West End’s first with an all-female lead creative team. Yet it’s one of a series of only fleeting highlights in a production, directed by Diane Paulus, that flatlines elsewhere... For charisma the show relies entirely on the supporting cast... Best of all is Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock as Dawn’s goofy suitor — a performance straight out of the era of great MGM musicals — and Bareilles’s sumptuous score. But the urge to hear it again won’t send me back for second helpings." The London Metro
"Stuck in a dead-end job, a bad marriage - and a worse musical - Jenna, the protagonist of Jessie Nelson and Sara Bareilles's Waitress, has equal cause for frustration. She finds fulfilment in making pies with names even more sugary than their ingredients. The last musical to give baking such prominence was Sweeney Todd but Bareilles is no Sondheim. Her music is undistinguished and her lyrics indistinct. Nelson's script, based on the popular 2007 film, is an uneasy blend of sentimentality, sententiousness and slapstick.The characters are such ciphers that moments of genuine emotion seem simply mawkish... When Jenna gives birth, the crusty old diner owner gives her a card, declaring that 'it's silly and flowery and almost gave me diabetes'. Add 'smutty' to the list and it's a fair description of the show itself." The Sunday Express
The musical Waitress in London at the Adelphi Theatre previewed from 8 February 2019 and opened on 7 March 2019.