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Review of Waitress The Musical, Manchester Opera House

10 Nov 2021

Waitress the Musical arrived at Manchester’s Opera House, and we were invited along to check it out. 

We sent one of our Mum On The Go reviewers Rachael and her mum to the press night and you can discover what they thought below.

Review of Waitress The Musical, Manchester Opera House. 

I have been lucky enough to catch Waitress before on New York’s Broadway – at the time, it wasn’t something I desperately wanted to watch, but we managed to get cheap tickets, and I was so glad I gave it a chance. I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to watch it again, and so dragged my mum along for the perfect girly night out.

Based on the 2007 film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, played by Lucie Jones, who works at an American diner, creating scrumptious pie combinations to combat the disappointment of how her life has ended up. Luckily, she has amazing friends ready to lift her up when she is down, and when she meets the hot new doctor in town, life gets even more complicated. 

Waitress2021JP 04617 Edit Dr office Norma

Waitress is definitely a show for late teens and adults only, as there are plenty of sexual references and language throughout. Although it touches on the difficult subject of domestic abuse, what actually shines out is the importance of friendship and believing in yourself. There are some fantastic musical numbers that will be playing in your head for days afterwards. One of my favourite scenes was Ogie pronouncing his undying love to a very resistant Dawn.    

Lucie Jones is superb in the role of Jenna; her rendition of She Used to be Mine during Act 2 was both soulful and heartbreaking.  Matt Jay-Willis, from noughties boy band Busted, is well cast as handsome new doctor Dr Pomatter, and the scenes between him and Lucie were heartfelt and humorous in equal measure. 

Waitress2021JP 05303 Edit hospital Jenna Dr P

Sandra Marvin and Evelyn Hoskins played Jenna’s partners (or waitresses) – in-crime, Becky and Dawn, and were the perfect combination, adding warmth and comedy to this production of Waitress. George Crawford’s delightful and loveable Ogie contrasted perfectly with Nathanael Landskroner’s arrogant and unlikeable Earl. Christopher Hunt was fabulous as hen-pecked diner manager Cal, whilst Michael Starke, (aka Sinbad from Brookside), was cast well as grumpy but insightful restaurant owner Joe.

Waitress2021JP 01162 Edit WHSM Dawn wipe table

The staging was well thought out and varied; the majority of the show takes place at Joe’s Diner, an American diner that is made to feel cosy and inviting, where unlikely friends can share their ups and downs.

A live band on stage and some well-thought-out choreography really helps bring the story to life, increasing the drama and framing the main characters beautifully.

Waitress the Musical lifted my spirits on what was a dark and dreary November night, and judging by the reaction of the audience, I wasn’t alone. The standing ovation at the end was well deserved for all cast members and crew, who delivered the perfect combination of sugar and spice at Manchester’s Opera House tonight.

Waitress the Musical is on at The Opera House, Manchester from 8th November – 20th November, see here to purchase tickets. 

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