Waitress Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Waitress
Image Source: Liverpool Theatre

This is our review of Waitress at Liverpool‘s Empire Theatre. So, let’s take a look at Waitress!

Synopsis of Waitress

We meet three waitresses working at Joe’s Diner somewhere in the South of the United States. Though we delve into the lives of Becky (Wendy Mae Brown) and Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins), the real focus is Jenna (Chelsea Halfpenny). She is in an unhappy marriage with her husband Earl (Tamlyn Henderson). To complicate matters, she falls pregnant, and she isn’t exactly enthusiastic about motherhood. Not least because Earl essentially takes whatever she earns from her job, including any bonuses for overtime. But life begins to change when she visits her gynaecologist for the first time.

That’s because her gynaecologist, Dr Pomatter (Matt Willis), quickly takes a liking to her. And the feeling is mutual. Before we know it, Jenna and Dr Pomatter are madly in love and engaging in an affair. An affair that isn’t exactly a secret, yet it remains a secret to the now-unemployed and increasingly-desperate Earl. As the show goes on, Jenna starts to fret about what life will be like once she’s a mother. She desperately wants to leave Earl, but she doesn’t have the financial security to do so. And while Dr Pomatter is a positive influence, she still struggles to comprehend having an affair with a married man. What will she do? And more importantly, what can she do?

Analysis of Waitress

There is a serious tone to the scenes involving Jenna and Earl. However, the tone of the show as a whole is largely comedic and light-hearted. It almost feels like certain scenarios are so over-the-top that they become funnier. This includes Becky having an affair of her own with the manager of the diner, Cal (Christopher D. Hunt). In terms of enjoyment, the scenes involving Dawn and her new boyfriend Ogie (George Crawford) are very amusing. But Jenna gets the biggest reaction with her stunning singing, particularly for She Used To Be Mine. Matt Willis also does a great job in his role and is totally believable as Dr Pomatter. Incidentally, it’s a show that has two types of characters: very likeable people and truly detestable souls.

Elsewhere, I appreciated the clear detail that has gone into building gorgeous, authentic sets. And I liked how the band for this show remains on the stage itself all the way through. However, I will point out that there is one plotline that doesn’t receive a resolution in the show. I won’t give spoilers, but it is odd that said plotline receives plenty of time only for it to not be resolved. Especially when it does get resolved in the original 2007 movie. But the overall ending still satisfying enough that most left the theatre with a smile on their face.

Summary of Waitress

This feels like a show that targets a specific demographic. And if you fit into that demographic, then you will thoroughly enjoy this show. For those that aren’t amongst that demographic, it may be a tougher sell. But the performances are strong, the comedic writing is very clever, and there is real heart to this tale. All of this means that I would definitely suggest that you check out Waitress if you can.

Notes

Target Audience: 16+
Content: Infrequent Strong Language, Infrequent Strong Sex References
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good