"A gripping thriller... black and macabre, but wickedly funny,"  

"What's been your most nerve-racking moment?
When I was 19 I did a play called THE PRICE OF MEAT  in Southampton and had a terrible panic attack on stage.  I felt dizzy and sick and forgot my lines.  I must have played the most nervous murderess ever."  
Lucy Speed (Natalie Evans in EASTENDERS)
interviewed in Radio Times, 9 March 2002.

The director
of the world
premiere of
Patrick Sandford,
Artistic Director of the
Nuffield Theatre,

HANTS CHRONICLE, 12 April 1996

Traditional female problems are dramatised by a cast of eight women in the world  premiere of The Price of Meat at Southampton's Nuffield Theatre from April 18th to May 11th.
Written by Michele Celeste, this subversive black comedy is an unsentimental, but touching, play about the lives of one Northern working class family struggling to make ends meet, in a town where nosy neighbours know everything about everyone.
At the centre of the action is Joy, who has reached crisis point: not only, do her two daughters, Kate (14) and Rita (12), have impossible homework and unsuitable boy-     friends, but her husband has disappeared and her mother-in-law has come to stay, uninvited.
          Moreover, in a town where  anyscrap of meat is a luxury and gardening an irrelevance, why is there a hole in her lawn and a freezer full of meat?
Women behaving badly tangle with social services, inept policewomen and nosy neighbours in a modern comedy that is as funny as it is heart-rending and true.
And at a time when few plays have major roles for
women, The Price of Meat features eight highly-skilled actresses with wide experience in both theatre and television.
     They are Hilda Braid, Maria Charles, Rachel Griffin. Joanna Monro, Christine Moore, Maggie Ollerenshaw, Tracey Wilkinson and East Ender Lucy Speed.