Take an ounce of humour, add a dash of drama, stir well and top with some freshly baked vocals – the perfect recipe for a hit musical comedy.

It's been a long time coming, due to delays caused by the pandemic, but a packed audience at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre finally welcomed Waitress to the stage on Tuesday, May 24.

Set in the unlikely location of an American diner, expert pie maker Jenna works through her troubled marriage to husband Earl with the help of workmates Becky and Dawn – who have romantic issues of their own to deal with.

Her life is turned upside down by the arrival of the attractive Dr Pomatter – played by Busted's Matt Willis – until a life-changing event brings everything into sharp focus, encouraging Jenna to follow her baking dreams.

Chelsea Halfpenny played the long-suffering Jenna beautifully, with a spine-tingling You Used To Be Mine the stand-out vocal of the night – you could have heard a pin drop as she held the audience in the palm of her hand.

Bournemouth Echo: Chelsea Halfpenny and Matt Willis star in the show. Picture by Johan PerssonChelsea Halfpenny and Matt Willis star in the show. Picture by Johan Persson

Wendy Mae Brown as Becky and Evelyn Hoskins as Dawn provided perfectly timed comic interludes to the more serious themes explored, belting out their own impressive vocals along the way, while Willis too showed off his fine voice, and comedy skills.

Warm, funny and poignant, Waitress is a thought-provoking show which proves that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.

The show reportedly received standing ovations night after night in London's West End and on Broadway, and opening night at the Mayflower was no different. Baked to perfection.