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Broadway actress Desi Oakley flown to London to cover Waitress lead role following cast illnesses

Drama at the diner!

Desi Oakley

Following a major bout of cast illness in the West End, the producers of Waitress have flown over Broadway star Desi Oakley to perform in the show this coming week.

Oakley, who was the original Jenna in the US tour of the production and was most recently seen in Chicago in New York, will make her West End debut and play the role for a full week from this Monday (13 January).

Lucie Jones and understudies Olivia Moore and Sarah O'Connor have all been taken ill, which forced Saturday 11 January's Waitress showings to be cancelled.

However, for the evening performance on 11 January, remaining cast members performed a special concert presentation of songs from the show, hosted by David Hunter. That evening also saw an untimely evacuation from the venue after a suspect package was found at the adjacent Vaudeville Theatre. The Adelphi was later placed on lockdown while the package was removed.

Waitress continues to run at the Adelphi Theatre, with the cast led by Jones, Hunter, Hannah Tointon, Joel Montague and Marisha Wallace. Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel will star in the production from 27 January.

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