Review: Waitress at Leeds Grand Theatre

Let’s kick things off by saying wow. A fantastic musical mixed with a spectacular set and a sprinkling of stardust from the wonderful cast and we have ourselves a perfectly put together sweet pie of a musical that’s sure to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

The show followers waitress Jenna as she realises she’s fallen pregnant… and she doesn’t want the baby. Will she settle for ‘happy enough’ or search for true happiness, and will the new Doctor Pomatter make her dreams come true?

There are plenty of themes bringing poignancy and intrigue to this show; are affairs ever right, is ‘settling’ better than chasing an impossible dream and can one waitress change her world and the world around her with home baked pie?

Jenna is played beautifully by Lucie Jones. She has a voice like no other, and a subtlety to her acting that adds complete authenticity to the part. We root for her from start to finish, and her chemistry with Matt Jay-Willis (who plays Dr. Pomatter) is fantastically fresh, funny and sincere.

Matt Jay-Willis is a great leading man. He’s quirky, cute and completely adorable. Known for Busted fame, you wouldn’t tell he’s a world-renowned pop and rock star, yet he brings a remarkable charisma to the stage.

Sandra Marvin as Becky and Evelyn Hoskins as Dawn complete our trio of sassy waitresses, adding some fantastic comedy value to an already funny show. George Crawford as Ogie also brings the house down with his nerdy portrayal.

I also have a huge soft spot for Michael Starke, who plays Joe. He’s a fab actor and adds warmth to an otherwise quite cold character which is exactly what the part needs.

The main ‘wow’ moment in this show comes from its ending and, without offering any spoilers, all I can say is it’s a tear-jerking, jaw-dropping, wonderfully sweet finale.

The set, designed by Scott Pask, is extraordinary. We’re ever shifting from the diner to the doctor’s surgery to Jenna’s house and back again in one smooth motion, with no distraction from the action.

Waitress is a totally feel-good show that will leave your heart feeling all warmed up like a freshly baked pie. Don’t miss the show, playing at Leeds Grand Theatre until 18th September.

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