“She is messy, but she’s kind…”
Well messy is certainly one word to describe today’s ‘big news’ that Lucie Jones is joining the West End cast of Waitress to play the lead role of Jenna.
It was announced today that from Monday 17 June Ashley Roberts (Strictly Come Dancing2018 finalist, The Pussycat Dolls) will be making her West End debut as Dawn in Sara Bareilles’ hit musical Waitress for a strictly limited summer season. It is also confirmed that Lucie Jones (Rent, Les Misérables, Legally Blonde) will take over the role of Jenna from this date.
But this isn’t shocking news to … well, anyone really.
In February 2019 it was rumoured that Lucie Jones would be playing the role of Jenna in Waitress on Broadway and posters of Lucie dressed in costume for the show (alongside Joey McIntyre), plastered all over Times Square, made it look like this was really happening. But it didn’t. Joey McIntyre did join the cast but there was no sign of Lucie. The official response to why this happened is that “Lucie was shot as part of a generic Waitress campaign before she was contracted for the show”.
Rumours then circulated that Lucie was perhaps going to join the West End cast of the show after Katharine McPhee’s opening stint ended. This became the worst kept secret with pretty much everyone knowing it was going to happen.
And then last week, The Metro broke an embargo on a press release about the new casting, by publishing Lucie and Ashley Roberts names in the newspaper as joining the cast of the show.
Also last week, whilst Katharine McPhee was on holiday, the cast hinted on social media that something special was happening that night and that everyone should get down to see the show for something very special. What was it? Lucie Jones making a surprise appearance to play the role of Jenna for a few nights until Katharine returned. Many people found it odd to see Lucie playing the role with no announcement that she would be, or would be joining the show at all – it was only announced today that she will be taking on the roll from 17 June – a month from now. The official word on this is “Katherine McPhee was taking a short break from the show as shew had to make a trip back to America and as Lucie knows the role we decided to introduce her to the new Waitress family a little earlier than planned, giving her the opportunity to work with the full cast and experience the great West End audiences prior to her official debut”.
So probably the worst kept secret in recent theatre history but at least today the news is officially out there that Lucie Jones is indeed the new Jenna in the West End production of Waitress! And I think she will absolutely smash it!
And for those asking about Jack McBrayer (Ogie), I’ve been told “Jack McBrayer was always only playing a limited season in the show. An announcement about his end date and replacement will be made shortly”.
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA