SUGAR, butter, flour - the essential ingredients for a slice of sweet American pie served up to grateful theatregoers in Manchester this week.

Waitress the musical is currently at the Opera House until November 20 as part of a national tour following a pre-Covid stint in the West End (which incidentally featured Warrington singer/actor David Hunter as the male lead).

In this case it is Busted's Matt Willis who successfully takes on the role of flustered gynaecologist Dr Pomatter, with West End regular and former X Factor star Lucie Jones as Jenna, a diner waitress whose life falls apart when she discovers that she is pregnant with her abusive husband.

She dreams of leaving Earl and her job at Joe's Diner by winning the grand prize at a local pie-baking contest, but to make matters worse, she finds herself falling for married Dr Pomatter.

The show, based on the hit film of the same name, features music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles (think 2007 hit Love Song) and book by Jessie Nelson.

Delightfully charming, witty, lively and lyrical, this is a production that leaves its audience feeling uplifted at a time when we all really need to feel uplifted.

When the brilliant Lucie Jones effortlessly performs the climactic She Used To Be Mine it is genuinely moving. She sings of feeling lost and being trapped, words that many of us have some empathy with after the past 18 months.

At times some of the lyrics in the quicker paced songs have a tendency to get lost, possibly not helped by the volume of the on-stage band, but this doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of the show.

All of the small cast play their parts superbly and despite the characters having their own individual flaws they are all likeable. Lucie and Matt have the perfect on stage partnership while there are comedic performances from Evelyn Hoskins, George Crawford, Sandra Marvin and Christopher D Hunt, while grumpy diner-goer Joe played by Michael Starke gives a touching and heart-warming performance of Take it From An Old Man.

Standing ovations have become a more frequent occurrence these days but in this case it's warranted and you can tell the cast and band are as grateful for the rousing applause as we are for the absolute joy of seeing live musical theatre again.

Grab a slice of the action while you can. For tickets, go to