Sugar, butter, flour!! Guess which show I just saw? If you guessed the frosting topped wonder piece that is Sara Barellies’ Waitress you’d be hitting the egg into the baking batter – see what I did there?! Maybe not haha, but you can maybe see what I was going for … hopefully?? Baking has a very special place in my heart, whether it’s regarding my brilliant, cupcake whizz granny or my life long dedication to the Bake Off, I love the process and delicacy involved in the artform which Waitress captures this perfectly.
Waitress was actually on in New York when I visited in 2017 and I had an absolutely lovely interaction with one of the sales girls in Times Square who was wearing the most gorgeous waitress outfit ever and I was so so gutted to not be able to get tickets back then, so it was an absolute dream to finally be able to see it in London. I have loved and drooled over the cast album for years now and, to be perfectly candid, did not expect to love the London casts’ renditions of my favourite songs just because I’ve grown so, so attached to the OG recordings over the years. It’s like listening to someone other than Idina Menzel sing Let It Go, it just ain’t the same. But I was fortunately proven so very wrong by this brilliant team as I absolutely adored each and every song, including ‘I Love You Like A Table’ and ‘Take It From An Old Man’ which have both been on my automatic skip list for as long as I can remember.
First off I have to take a moment to gawk over Lucie Jones’ version of ‘What Baking Can Do’ as it was just breathtaking. Her vibrato (which is a word I 100% just had to Google yes) genuinely had me patting at my eyes with my programme, everything she did on stage was just mesmerising and I was so, so happy to be able to fall just in love with her Jenna as I did Jessie Mueller’s. Her voice was a smooth as caramel, her comedic flair as refreshing as a dip dab and her lovableness as sweet as, well, love hearts. Her fellow leading ladies were equally just as brilliant, with Laura Baldwin’s charming quirk as Dawn and Marisha Wallace’s swanky sassiness as Becky, bringing together the perfect trio on stage. Their performance as a group of ‘A Soft Place To Land’ was just so picturesque and cosy. You know the feeling you get in autumn when it’s rainy and cold outside but you’re tucked up in a thick woollen blanket with a mug of steaming hot chocolate heaped with marshmallows between the palms of your hands to keep you warm – imagine that feeling bottled up as a song and there you have ‘A Soft Place To Land’.
I also really quickly want to mention here what I said at the start of this post about the artform of baking because ‘A Soft Place To Land’ was the perfect example of this. It was almost as though these three wonder-women danced with the baking ingredients on stage. Their movements were so fluid and graceful, nothing like what you see on Bake Off that’s for sure, and it just created the most enchanting scene. Speaking of enchanting, I definitely need to chat about the set as a whole as, regardless of its simplicity at times as it is important to remember that this is primarily set in a diner sooo, they add touches of theatre fabulousness where they can. For instance, the spinning glass pie columns either end of the wings were just iconic. The Ensembles use of the set too, regardless of whether they’re gracefully transporting pies or having a natter over a brew at the back of the stage, was brilliant and I at times found myself following them around on stage instead of the characters speaking!!
The male actors too, from David Hunter as Dr. Pometter to Andrew Boyer as Joe, were all absolutely brilliant but I have got to chat about Blake Harrison as Ogie for a second. Without wanting to sound rude, I expected to walk in and see a slighty more grown-up and less ‘blonde’ version of Neil from The Inbetweeners. I haven’t ever really loved Ogie’s character regardless, I usually skip his songs on the soundtrack and just kind of viewed him as some comic relief. But, Blake Harrison, if you ever find yourself coming across my humble blog, I was so, so, so very wrong – you were absolutely blummin’ brilliant. With Harrison’s guidance, I found myself loving this wonderfully sweet and goofy character whom I had previously cast aside as just a bit irritating – which just goes to show how flippin’ talented this guy is!! I even bumped into him at the bar area after the show and had a brief chat with him and he was an absolute gem, so thank you Blake … if we’re on a first-name basis now that is?? I would absolutely have loved to have seen Joe Sugg as Ogie too because after seeing Blake’s rendition I really do think Joe will do an incredible job but sadly I’m not going to have time to pop down during his run. Regardless, can all major theatre-goers please be nice to Joe’s fans, they’re not animals and I’m certain they understand how theatres, so please be friendly!!
Just to wrap it up I wanted to briefly mention the items available for sale – specifically the pies. Of course, I bought into the gimmick and picked up one of these bad boys, mainly because I have been dreaming of them literally since hearing about them in New York two years ago, but I wouldn’t say they were next level to be honest. I grabbed an apple pie and yes, it was delish there’s no doubt about that, but £6 for a tiny pot was a little bit steep. Personally, if I were you, I’d grab one of the pie pin badges instead (which of course I did), it’s absolutely stunning and isn’t going to only last you two minutes in the interval. Besides that I would also get there quite early for merch, as things like the tote bag were sold out by the time I got there, but besides that I think they had a pretty nice selection!!
And with that ladies and gents, I’m done!! I think it goes without saying that Waitress was one of the best, if not the best, shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, both of which into a glass jar of pie. Just call me a poet. Thank you to the cast, crew and staff at the Adelphi Theatre, it was an absolute pleasure and I hope you all have a lovely week,
Lots of love, hugs and happy reading,