Plays for Performance - (1 female) - Chef

An outstanding performance piece for one female actor, Chef questions our attitudes to food, prisoners, violence, love and hope.

Inspired by workshops with ex-inmates of women’s prisons and an interview with Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous, Chef tells the gripping story of how one woman went from being a haute-cuisine head chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen. The play provides opportunity for the actor to lead the audience through a world of mouth-watering dishes and heart-breaking memories and embody a character who is explosive and engaging.

Chef premiered at the Underbelly, Edinburgh, in 2014, starring Jade Anouka, and won a Fringe First Award there.

‘Mahfouz’s poetic script fizzes with energy’ - Independent

To apply for non-professional performance rights, please contact

Cast1 female
SetBlank stage
Length40 pages; 1 act; approx. 50 minutes
Fee£75 + VAT per performance
Script£8.99 RRP (deals available for multiple purchases)

Buy the Script


I do a lot of that. Imagining.
I imagine my restaurant, when I get out.
It’s going to be industrial chic. You know the type.
Exposed brick, bare lightbulbs
with unenvironmentally friendly
but unbelievably more beautiful glowing filaments.
Concrete floors,
waiting staff who take orders without notepads
and know everything there is to know about the menu
and the menu- oh!
There will be pickled cucumbers
compressed into octagonals,
origami pastrami pastry,
cod cheeks, and celery,
exquisite mash with gravy
and soup that is never soup but always broth,
chilled broth –
like with avocado tomato and fig
because I really hate
the taste of hot liquid on my tongue.
The taste buds don’t deserve to be burnt
and my memories of soup
aren’t ones I want to pass on . . .