As one of the newer imports from Broadway, Waitress charms the audience with its bittersweet homely nature through its infectious songs and acting both tender and comedic.

The show follows Jenna, a waitress with an incredible gift at baking pies, as she becomes pregnant from her abusive husband and has an affair with her gynaecologist. Sara Bareilles plays her for a limited run with a beautiful tiredness, epitomised in the show’s big ballad ‘She Used to Be Mine’ which sobers the Adelphi Theatre as Jenna admits her disappointment in herself.

Set mostly in a typical southern diner – Joe’s Pie Diner – the focus is also often on the interactions between the three waitresses working there. Marisha Wallace’s Becky and Evelyn Hoskins’ Dawn flank Jenna, and both get their moments to shine and also highlight the strength of female friendships – breaking into song in the Ladies to help Jenna take a pregnancy test for example.

Unusually for a West End Show, all male roles are side characters however they all have some heart to them. Gavin Creel’s Dr Pomatter, Jenna’s gynaecologist, although clearly in the wrong as he cheats on his caring wife, still feels kind and lovable and Andrew Boyer’s Old Joe acts as a father figure that Jenna needs.

However, all characters have flaws to them making them more realistic to the working class of the southern states they are meant to represent, many of which are not overcome by the end of the show. To fully enjoy Waitress you have to forgive Jenna for her infidelity.

Overall, the deft book from Jessie Nelson and catchy score and lyrics from Sara Bareilles makes Waitress as sweet as the pies created by Jenna only helped by the talented cast and crew putting it on the stage.

By Eleanor Kirkland