LONDON THEATRE TRIP & WAITRESS REVIEW

Hello again! Before the new year is here I’m trying to get up to date on things I want to document from 2019. I recently took a Christmas trip to London with some of my best pals to see Waitress the musical so here’s a little look at our day.

We booked this trip way back when after discovering we were all desperate to see Waitress before it departs from the West End in January 2020. A little bit of background is that I’ve been dying to see this show since Sara Bareilles announced that she was writing it as I have been a huge fan of hers for forever. Alex was originally coming with us as he had listened to me bang on about the show since day one, but unfortunately couldn’t get the time off work so Shannon took his ticket and came along instead.

As my University of Worcester chapter is well and truly over, I was commuting from Abergavenny which due to rail strikes I thought was going to be a nightmare. However, it actually worked out pretty well. I ended up paying half the price of the train for a National Express Coach from Newport to London Victoria Coach Station. I had never gotten the coach before and as I was travelling solo I was feeling a bit apprehensive but it was honestly fab. It was direct so I just got on and stayed put until we arrived. The coach was at 6:25am (shout out to Bev for getting up at stupid o clock and driving me to Newport) and returned from London at 7pm. 10/10 would recommend considering coach transportation if you are travelling to London in the future.

As we were all coming from different parts of the country (the curse of uni), we then had the task of finding each other. I got the tube from Victoria to Euston where I first found Jade and later Jordan and Ebony. The four of us then did a bit of sight seeing around Covent garden and Leicester square whilst we waited for Shannon and Zoe’s later coach to arrive. We also grabbed some brekkie in the spoons at Leicester Square which turned into a bit of a polava! There was an issue with the ordering system so we ended up ordering items that weren’t available and getting refunded for them but they came to our table anyway. We also had a very angry scouse man kick off at the staff because our breakfast had arrived before his. Afters shouting some abuse he upped and left to write his ‘one star review on trip advisor’ and we struggled to contain our awkward laughter.

Polava over, we were all finally reunited and it was time for Secret Santa! We arranged this a while ago and I was excited to see what everyone had gotten for each other. Doing Secret Santa with a group of people who know each other really well is honestly the best. Eb was my secret santa who forgot to bring my gift but its all good as I just enjoyed seeing everyone opening theirs and I know what she has gotten me and its amazing!

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Here’s how the Secret Santa panned out;

Meg – Jordan

Jordan – Ebony

Jade – Alex

Alex – Zoe

Zoe – Shannon

Shannon – Jade

Ebony – Meg

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Everyone got their gifts spot on too. I was afraid Jord wouldn’t get my present of a burrito blanket but he did and am glad to say he loved it. Hopefully this Secret Santa will become a long standing tradition.

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We then headed into the theatre early as we wanted to have a look around and have some pics at the photo spots. Waitress is in the Adelphi Theatre and  I honestly loved how interactive the theatre was and how many clever referenced to the show were everywhere – such as being able to by pies to watch the show with and being able to leave reviews of the show on waitressing pads! They even had milkshakes for sale and the whole theatre was made to smell of pies – very cool.

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Next it was time to find our seats. I was responsible for our choice of seats for this one so I was feeling the pressure a little. When we do group trips like this it is important to account for what everyone can afford so we ended up going for £34 tickets that where in the Upper Circle. I opted for the second row (row B 22-27) and I was really pleased. The front of the stage was slightly restricted in that you had to lean forward to see it but throughout the show they didn’t really come that far forward so it wasn’t a problem. Something to note about the seats in the upper circle is that they are quite narrow and there isn’t much leg room. It wasn’t massively uncomfortable but is something to bare in mind if you visit this theatre in the future.

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The first thing we noticed was how the pie cases at the sides of the stage that rotated with a variety of pies inside and this creativity set precedent for rest of the show in terms of set and staging. The way that the set moved seamlessly to create different locations was amazing and very simple. I loved the use of real ingredients for the scenes where pies are being made and the fact that the band were onstage immersed in the show. The actors interacted with the band and the mobile musicians such as guitarists were often seen sat in booths etc at the diner and weren’t fixed to the island that the rest of the band like piano etc were on. I won’t spoilt it further but honestly so, so cool and creative set wise.

The next thing to mention is the cast. Oh my goodness Lucie Jones was phenomenal as Jenna. As a fellow Welshie, I have been eager to see Lucie in this show for a while and had only heard amazing things about her and she certainly didn’t disappoint. I was just in awe of her the entire time and her rendition of ‘She Used to Be Mine’ was followed by rapturous applause and cheering that went on for at least a minute. Her voice was sublime and we were all in tears – simply sensational. The next person that gets a shoutout was David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter. Again, I had heard fab things about him and if Lucie hadn’t been sooooo good then he would have stolen the show for me. He was so funny and has the most gorgeous voice – we all left the theatre a little bit in love with him! We had a ensemble member, Laura Selwood, cover Dawn who was fab and an ensemble member, Nathaniel Morrison, cover Ogie who we absolutely adored.

Overall the show was better than I dreamed it would be and I am now even more in love with it. I would put it up there as one of the best shows I have ever seen! I didn’t realise how much of the story line revolved around domestic abuse and currently working as a domestic abuse specialist it was so interesting and moving to see this portrayed on stage. However, what was slightly alarming was some creep in the audience who kept laughing really loudly whenever Earl was being abusive to Jenna! Just brings it home how prevalent domestic abusive is and reminded me why I love my job supporting women who are victims to it so much.

After the show, we headed to stage door for the first time ever to see if we could meet some of the cast. Not gonna lie we had everything crossed for Lucie and David to come out but understand that stage door isn’t an obligation and they had another show in a few hours time. We were thrilled to meet those who played Old Joe, Ogie and Dawn though who were all so lovely and chatted to us for a while and signed our programmes. Ogie was our favourite as he stayed for ages with us and talked to us about performing and was just hilarious – he even saved Shan from being run over by the traffic!

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By the time we pulled ourselves away form stage door, it was time to make my way back to Victoria Coach Station for my journey home. This time I had Shan and Zoe for company on the way though as they were leaving from Victoria too. It was a bittersweet trip really as it was so much fun but was also the last time we will be together for a long time. With us all spread across the country with different jobs and time off etc it is increasingly difficult for us to make plans. Usually when we say goodbye to each other it isn’t so bad as we always have another event lined up but this time is different and I think we all felt that as we said goodbye to each other.

However, no matter how long it is before we are reunited, I know I have these guys in my life forever and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Meg xo

 

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