Lead starlet Chelsea Halfpenny provided an exceptional efficiency in this fascinating, amusing and moving production.
Hot off the West End, smash-hit musical Waitress is playing at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre as part of its UK Tour this week.
Featuring the irreverently amusing and varied soundtrack from Grammy acclaimed Sara Bareilles, Waitress follows Jenna Hunterson (Chelsea Halfpenny), a waitress from the American South identified to bake herself a brand-new life for her and her child, far away from her violent spouse, Earl (Tamlyn Henderson). Seamlessly mixing together the delicate subject matter of domestic abuse with humourous characters and tunes, Waitress does a wonderful task of revealing how platonic, romantic, and familial love can recover the injuries caused by Jenna’s hubby, and assistance her to discover strength through what she enjoys – baking.
The Mayflower’s production of the program advantages from its inheritance of the great West End set which utilizes the rural South-backdrop, with lighting modifications to fit the stateofmind, to transportation the audience immediately to small-town Indiana. Props are utilized outstandingly as part of the choreography in the amazing musical numbers, and the basic sets produce an intimacy that differs in its degree of convenience. Particularly striking was the warm security developed by the set of Jenna’s medicalprofessional’s surgicaltreatment – Dr Pomatter (Busted’s Matt Jay Willis) – contrasted with the cold, claustrophobic simpleness of her violent house.
Standouts of the cast doubtless consistedof Halfpenny, who showcased a smooth control over her remarkable singing variety, especially throughout showstopper number ‘She Used To Be Mine’. Halfpenny did a fantastic task of bring the musical numbers she shared with Willis, who, regardlessof playing a captivating and amusing Dr. Pomatter, is definitely a pop vocalist and not a musical theatre one.
Having shined on the West End, Evelyn Hoskin’s Dawn was every inch the loveable character she needto be and was matched completely by the reveal’s comic relief Ogie (George Crawford), who can be forgiven for slips in accent for having the audience in fits of laughter from his veryfirst look. Wendy Mae Brown wowed with her performance of ‘I Didn’t Plan It’ when she opened Act 2 as Becky, and Henderson refined the balance inbetween a detestable brute and a (un)loveable moron the audience comprehended they were laughing at and not with.
Despite some inconsistencies in the accent, a couple of missedouton hints and variations in cast members’ vocal abilities which leave this production a star shy of its West End quality, Waitress is well worth a goto. Audiences leave on a high havingactually been moved, entertained, and captivated alot.
Waitress is playing at The Mayflower Theatre from Wednesday 25 May to Saturday 27 May, tickets can be acquired online here.