Full casting information for the West End premiere of Sara Bareilles’ Waitress has been released today with news that Shaun Prendergast will play Old Joe.
As previously announced, US star Katharine McPhee (Smash) will reprise the role of Jenna, having played her on Broadway in 2018, and will appear alongside Emmy-nominated film and TV actor Jack McBrayer, best known for playing Kenneth in the multi-award-winning US comedy series 30 Rock. McBrayer will be making his West End debut in the role of Ogie.
Rehearsals are now underway ahead of performances beginning on 8 February 2018 and an official opening night on 7 March at London’s Adelphi Theatre. Currently playing its third hit year on Broadway, Waitress will bring with it an all-female lead creative team – a West End musical first.
The full company includes Kelly Agbowu, Laura Baldwin, Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Michael Hamway, Peter Hannah, David Hunter, Stephen Leask, Jack McBrayer, Chris McGuigan, Katharine McPhee, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Shaun Prendergast, Charlotte Riby and Marisha Wallace.
Waitress also recently announced the first of its ‘Cast Album Karaoke’ nights in London, meaning that theatre lovers who have always dreamt of singing on the West End stage will soon be able to make their dream a reality. The first ever karaoke nights will be held post-show on Tuesday 19 February and Monday 18 March 2019. For the chance to sing one minute of any song from the show – live on stage and accompanied by the show’s musical director Katharine Woolley – interested audience members just need to sign up in the theatre before the performance.
The musical opened on 24 April 2016 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater. Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, it was the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. The production is currently touring the US and has also recently announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.
Shaun Prendergast (Old Joe) has had many notable roles across film, television, theatre and radio. He is well known to television audiences for roles such as DS Holt in EastEnders, Robert Bain in Waterloo Road and Greg Doland in Emmerdale as well as frequent guest appearances in The Glee Club, The Bill, Holby City, Doctors, Coronation Street and Heartbeat. He also appeared in Kay Mellor’s A Place of Safety which won a New York Critics’ Choice Award.
Shaun’s stage career began as a founder member of Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company. Recent stage work includes playing MC in Terry Johnson’s revival of Oh! What a Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Mr Boo in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Park Theatre), Geordie the Musical (Customs House) and Cinderella (Theatre Royal Windsor). Shaun is also a writer for stage, screen and radio.