The Last Lunch

Winner, Best New Play Award, New Writing South, 2012

 “Brilliant! Powerful, moving, funny.. deeply touched. Well cast and spot on timing. We had a fantastic night! Thank you.”  Gabrielle Jasmin Baker, audience, Zu, Lewes.

It’s Sunday lunch, and where the roast should be, there’s a tofu wiener casserole instead.  Albert, a butcher, is mortified and questions his wife Jean who has put it on the table. One of their twins, Mark, a vegan, and his opinionated vegan spiritual-midwife girlfriend Julie, are coming to lunch, and Albert takes it all very personally.  Twin sister Maddy, is on her way too, with 16yr old daughter, Hannah, who has an intense personal secret she needs to share.

“A very dark black comedy, horribly involved with the meat industry. Kind of Festen with a vegan message. Can’t fault it for ‘drama’ – it was positively Greek! Nor for the numbers of actors – there were ten on a tiny stage. Well managed, well acted, with a very funny, sharp script, to say nothing of the poignant and disturbing message.” Carole Hayman, award-winning writer of BBC’s Ladies of Letters,  co-judge of Best New Play Award, New Writing South, 2012

Everyone is converging on Albert’s house, including beef-farmer Pete, (father to Hannah’s dreamy boyfriend, Andy), abattoir worker Dave, (and his set of large knives), Andy himself, Sam (Albert and Jean’s youngest, just back from fighting in Afghanistan, and bearing frightful news) and the spirits of some of the animals that Dave, Pete and Albert have, between them, been instrumental in dispatching.

All is set for a monumental clash of beliefs, values, knives,… and hearts.


“Loved The Last Lunch! I was educated, amused and surprised with the countless twists and turns!  Great play that totally surprised me. Good luck on your tour wowwing audiences across the country. I recommend this play to anyone. Well done!” Magnus Agugu Audience, Zu, Lewes.

On the farm. one boy spends hours, listening to the animals, their cries and calls to each other, to the wind and to the Gods. In The Last Lunch, butchers and vegans find strange common ground, and common ancient knowledge, locked away in tombs buried for millennia. Now, deeply hidden secrets must emerge, and new disturbing secret pacts must be made.
A blood blessing is required. To seal the family in, for ever.

The Last Lunch?
…think “The Archers”…only with more vegans, more acid,………oh…….and more ritual murder.

Cast for the 2014 production of “The Last Lunch”

Megan Bay Dorman as Maddy

Jonathan Brown as Albert

Marie Ellis as Julie

Darren Godbold as Mark

Emily Jayne as Hannah

Irene Marot as Jean

Mauro Montuschi as Dave

Jack Spooner as Andy

Owen Templeton as Sam

Gordon Winter as Pete

with production support from Daniel Stevens

and Technical Operation from John Dunne

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Praise for The Last Lunch …

“Break a leg for the tour – it’s a very powerful, moving play – I was shaken and moved to tears more than once. It has a raw powerful energy as well as a lot of very funny lines.” Paddy O’Keeffe 

“thought last night was an absolute delight! Well done. Never thought I would be moved to tears, as we all were, by a chap telling us how close he got to a young male cow… amazing.” Gavin Graham, Audience, Brighton.

“Brilliant performance last night. It was very moving. I hope more people see it and make the connections.” Denise Friend

“Just saw you at the old courtroom tonight. totally agree with this winning!!!! ” Stevie Ruby Red Robinson

“Loved the play – what a twist..certainly makes me glad I don’t come from a butcher’s family!” Jane Travis.

“I loved the way that you had written & directed the play so that episodic scenes didn’t “wait” for one to finish and another to begin; instead you juxtaposed episodes repeatedly so that, in true Shakespearean fashion, the audience gained insights in advance of what the various characters knew. But……….. little did the audience know! Revelation didn’t predict the ending! Very clever! That overlaying of episodes made the audience think, kept them backtracking to “see” or seek explanations and connections. That overlaying also made us laugh at one utterance or mannerism and simultaneously gasp and recoil.  I also liked the subtlety whereby you drew us towards certain characters so that we’d take them to be the main players only to find you refocusing our attentions on other seemingly “minor” characters. It kept us on our toes, kept us guessing. Whoever designed the table had it just right; not so much a prop but part of the story. I thought all the actors had been well cast. And I came away with many ideas about your play. Thank you Jonathan! You are a bright guy and I wish you and the Company all the Very Best.”  Diana Moon.

 The Last Lunch “it was the best experience. I loved your play, and was appreciative of issues looked at in this meaty, intense and truthful way. Coming twice was better as I picked up more, obviously, and the intensity grew, the second night. It was delightful hosting the girls who are both amazing actors and people, as are you….. my friend also found it thought provoking,… Had I watched it a third time, I would have got even more from it…
well done to all of you, you are all amazing actors”
Helen Lunt, Audience, Glastonbury and Bridgwater.

“WOW. Thanks for super play, Last Lunch at Barnstaple Festival. Perfect casting, superb acting from everyone and super tight script. Timings were flawless and the fast pace was great. Both I (veggie) and my non veggie but almost hubby, loved it. WELL DONE! Look forward to seeing you all next year!” Susie Peat, Audience, Barnstaple Fringe