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Review: Waitress at Hull New Theatre, The Sweetest Show in Town

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I joined an excited audience at Hull New Theatre this week to see the popular musical “Waitress”.  It’s very popular with the younger generation and it is always great to see a younger audience attending a theatre, they’re the future audiences.  

Waitress is set in a Diner in the US and this Diner sells lots of different pies each day, all cooked up by our leading lady Jenna (Chelsea Halfpenny – Byker Grove, Emmerdale, Casualty).  Jenna is joined by the other staff members, Becky (Sandra Marvin – Emmerdale, Call the Midwife) and Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins Casualty, Holby City, Doctors) and together they make a great team with great comic timing and wonderful harmonies.  

Jenna finds herself pregnant unexpectedly to a husband she yearns to leave.  Her doctor’s appointment leads her to meet Dr Pomatter (Matt Jay-Willis Busted,  Eastenders, Casualty) – cue girl fandom from girls of a certain age.  There is an electricity between Jenna and the Doc and they eventually have an affair.  I wanted to cheer when they finally kissed.  

Jenna sees a way out of her loveless marriage to a bullying narcissist when a regular customer, Joe, tells her of a pie competition which he is sure she will win.  Everyone in the Diner is keen for Jenna to compete, but will her overbearing husband let her?

As the show proceeds, Becky finds love with cook Cal and her comedy lines with him are great fun as she taunts him to sack her for being late, knowing he won’t.  

Dawn, who is a bit of a dippy girl, finds love with an equally dippy Ogie.  He drops into the Diner to see Dawn, despite her saying she doesn’t want to date him again.  Initially, you think he is just a dippy and drippy as Dawn, but as she takes his food order, she realises they have so much in common.  Their interaction is cute, funny and endearing.

The music in this show is so hauntingly beautiful in parts, especially when Jenna sings to her baby.  I’m told the song most fans know the show for is ‘She used to be mine’ sung by Jenna.  It was beautiful  

Should you go and see this show?  Oh definitely.  It has comedy moments, great cast and lovely songs about pies with very strange ingredient combinations.  Talking pies, fun fact – the writer didn’t know that sugar is not a pie crust ingredient, and given all the pie songs begin with the word sugar, it was decided it worked so well, it was staying in.  

Waitress is running until Saturday 5 February and tickets are available here: https://www.hulltheatres.co.uk/

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