Tag Archives: Laura Baldwin



Adelphi Theatre



Adelphi Theatre

Reviewed – 7th March 2019



“a smart and sensitive script with a magnificent sense of humour”


If you’re at all interested in musical theatre, then Waitress probably needs no introduction. The musical adaptation of Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film of the same name went down a treat on Broadway in 2016, garnering a host of Tony nominations, and its transfer to the West End has been hotly anticipated by many. If the name Waitress doesn’t mean anything to you yet, then here’s a quick summary: it’s an absolute firecracker.

The plot centres on Jenna (Katharine McPhee), a waitress and skilled pie maker at a local diner, whose life is thrown into chaos upon realising she’s fallen pregnant at the hands of her abusive husband, Earl (Peter Hannah). With the support of her two colleagues and friends, Becky (Marisha Wallace) and Dawn (Laura Baldwin), and her new gynaecologist Dr Pomatter (David Hunter), she is forced to make choices for herself and her child that question what true happiness entails and whether motherhood and a career are allowed to thrive in tandem.

Jessie Nelson’s book delivers a beautiful blend of delicious comedy and more complex ruminations on the greyer morality of relationships to mull over – with both Jenna and Becky in unsatisfying relationships, and Dawn desperately seeking love, they make a lot of questionable choices that are ultimately treated with sympathy and understanding by the script, as well as by Diane Paulus’ direction, and Sara Bareilles’ music and lyrics. Certain moments feel like tired tropes being wheeled out, such as Dawn suddenly being seen as more attractive after taking off her glasses and letting her hair down, and the end of the show dismisses some of the nuanced ingredients it was mixing for the sake of a more sickly-sweet conclusion that felt like it was just trying to wrap everything up neatly, but overall Waitress features a smart and sensitive script with a magnificent sense of humour.

Bareilles’ songs amplify this too, with the pop-fuelled score incorporating soaring melodies and beautiful harmonies to punctuate character moments and relationships, and keep the tone and atmosphere firmly pinned to the setting of the American South. Particular highlights are Dawn’s neurotic ‘When He Sees Me’ and the Act One finale ‘Bad Idea’, as well as its reprise in Act Two – the hugely theatrical nature of these songs allowed for slick and dynamic choreography from Lorin Latarro, creating a visual and audial combination that was an absolute joy to consume.

The performances were ceaselessly strong all round. McPhee’s vocals were heavenly in the show’s signature song, ‘She Used to Be Mine’, and Wallace and Hunter brought an enrapturing amount of depth and empathy to their respective characters of Becky and Dr Pomatter. Jack McBrayer also demonstrates his scene-stealing comic prowess as Dawn’s love interest Ogie. Paulus’ direction brings out the best in all the characters and keeps the show moving at a tight pace, allowing everyone’s creativity to shine through when needed.

Waitress is not flawless, and is in no way a revolution for musical theatre, but the restless sense of joy and fun it invokes cannot be overstated – this show is utterly delectable.


Reviewed by Tom Francis

Photography by Johan Persson


Waitress The Musical


Adelphi Theatre until 19th October


Last ten shows covered by this reviewer:
Motherhood or Madness | ★★★ | Katzpace Studio Theatre | November 2018
Specky Ginger C*nt | ★★½ | Katzpace Studio Theatre | November 2018
Pinocchio | ★★ | The Albany Theatre | December 2018
Fight Night | ★★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
Original Death Rabbit | ★★★★★ | Jermyn Street Theatre | January 2019
[Title Of Show] | ★★★★ | Above the Stag | February 2019
BackPAGE | ★★½ | Lion & Unicorn Theatre | February 2019
Black Is The Color Of My Voice | ★★★ | Trafalgar Studios | February 2019
Soul Sessions | ★★★★ | Trafalgar Studios | February 2019
Talk Radio | ★★★½ | The Tower Theatre | March 2019


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com


Eugenius! – 4 Stars



The Other Palace

Reviewed – 1st February 2018


“silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that’s what makes it so great”


Get ready to be transported to a world of 80s nostalgia, sci-fi and superheroes with Eugenius! The Other Palace celebrates its first birthday with the arrival of Eugene, a typical geek with a passion for comic books and writing and drawing his own. With the support of two of his close friends, it’s not long before his work sparks the interest of big shot producer, Lex, and Eugene is invited to Hollywood so his work can come to life. The teen’s real and fantasy worlds are about to collide and drama is about to unfold …

There’s an array of talent on stage. Liam Forde plays Eugene very well; from his physicality to his voice, he is the perfect geek and you can’t help but root for him throughout the show. Laura Baldwin proves to be a true show-stealer as Eugene’s best friend, Janey. She attacks the role with enthusiasm and her strong vocals are amongst the show’s highlights. However, she also balances out this gusto with a good level of warmth and softer moments. A special mention should also go to Ian Hughes as Evil Lord Hector, even if just for his hilarious facial expressions and physicality. It’s impossible not to laugh, in the best way, when he’s on stage!

Director Ian Talbot has got the ensemble to use the relatively small space well and they perform dance routines and songs with consistently high levels of energy, passion and great characterisation. The majority of the costumes (Hannah Wolfe) are bright, bold and complement the show very well.

Original songs, by the show’s creators Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins, are catchy and pack a real 80s-inspired punch. Personal highlights include “Who’s That Guy?”, Janey’s solo “The Future’s Bright” and, of course, the show’s main theme “Go Eugenius!”.

Eugenius! is silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that’s what makes it so great. Amongst the bright colours, lights and memorable songs are themes including friendship and following your dreams, no matter what. If you’re after some escapism and a good old pick-me-up, you should see this feel-good, ‘eunique’ musical!


Reviewed by Emily K Neal

Photography by Pamela Raith



The Other Palace until 3rd March



Interview with Ben and Joanne from Flashdance