My Top Picks for Jenna in West End “Waitress”

So as ever, the #stagey (sorry) rumour mill is a glow at the moment with news that Broadway smash hit musical Waitress will transfer to the London in the near future – and I can see it happening, and hope so too! Based on the film of the same name, the Sara Bareilles-scored show recently passed its first year Anniversary in New York, so I thought I’d dream away and have come up with my top 5 actresses that I would drop everything to see play the lead role of Jenna when it eventually comes to the West End…


5 – Emma Kingston


Someone give this woman a major leading role already! Emma starred (but not for long enough) as Vanessa in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights at King’s Cross Theatre, and her performance blew me away! She has the voice and the look, and something like this would be a great breakthrough role for her because this is a West End talent that cannot go unnoticed for much longer!


4 – Cassidy Janson


The way this woman performs on-stage as Carole King in Beautiful is truly unique and inspiring; and since the show is unfortunately coming to an end it would be perfect for the former Elphaba to continue her winning leading lady stint with another great role like this! She would put all of her emotions into as she does with Carole, it would be truly special to see this!


3 – Rachel Tucker


Oh, yes, this powerhouse as well! She is a Queen of the Green, but how awesome would Tucker be in this role?! I saw her earlier this week in her concert gig at Zedel in Piccadilly and she performed “She Used to Be Mine” from the show and I openly admit to shedding a few tears – it was incredible. The way she connected to the song and the lyrics was awe-inspiring, as this woman just is in general. She would make one hell of a Jenna!


2 – Louise Dearman


Buckets and buckets of talent aside, she’s soon to be having a baby, so much like Rachel will be able to, Louise will be able to connect to the role on a personal level. I always cannot find the words to describe how Louise’s voice and performances I’ve seen of hers affect me. One of my favourite voices of all time, Louise carries herself with such grace and down-to-earth personality that shines through her defined characterisations, you cannot lose focus when she is on stage – the perfect leading lady!


1 – Rebecca Trehearn

2 show boat cast

Speaking of favourite voices of all time, this now Olivier Award winner (YAAAS!!) is a goddess personified, and if that sounds weird, I don’t care! Her voice is unique beyond compare, it’s liquid gold honey, it’s, well, everything. The thought of her singing the score of this show makes me want to watch the hell out of it every day when it comes to London. Rebecca would be the absolute perfect choice…and it’s due time for another Olivier Award right?!


BONUS ENTRY – Sara Barellies

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I thought I’d add her as a bonus entry because I mainly want to see a trained theatre performer, but I can’t deny, I really want this too! Bareilles is now finishing her limited Broadway debut run in the show so it would be perfect to see her transfer with Waitress and open it in London. Her voice fits the show beautifully – I mean, obviously, since she wrote it herself – and I believe she has a big enough fan base here to draw in the crowds!


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