L-R: David Macniven, Alison Lawrence, Mary Francis Moore, Brian Young & Sharon Heldt. Photo: Emma Healey

The Catering Queen

By Alison Lawrence

It’s The Catering Gig From Hell.

Welcome to Henderson Tessier McGuire & Smythe’s annual Christmas cocktail party, held at the gracious home of managing partner George Smythe and his lovely wife Buffy.

Behind the scenes is Melanie, McKinley Catering’s supervisor, plating up hors d’oeuvres and juggling her career as a writer, her ex-boyfriend’s appearance on the arm of a gorgeous young lawyer and her friends’ expectations. Oh, and Cynthia’s there too, an actress not so happy to be wearing the catering bowtie, sniping at their old roommate Timothy, who’s making his first catering appearance in years. Eric’s there too, but he’s never a problem—Eric is the unflappable uber-caterer. Or is he? There’s Christmas cheer, sex, romance, death, laughter, a vast array of appetizers and a whole lot of vodka and wine. But not for nothing is Mel known as…The Catering Queen.

NNNN…this fine comedy/drama... Alison Lawrence’s script is both funny…and moving.

NOW MagazineJon Kaplan

★★★½ out of 4 - If you've been yearning to see a well-made comedy again – then you ought to run,
not walk, to the Tarragon Extra Space......There's both something old-fashioned and up-to-the-minute about Lawrence's play, which is one of its major charms. On one hand, you can sit back and delight at a well-written script that glides along in the sophisticated style you thought people had forgotten how to write; on the other hand, Lawrence's characters have a sexual candour and freewheeling morality that makes you gasp with how contemporary it is.

Toronto StarRichard Ouzounian

★★★★½ stars out of 5….a wonderful story… filled with ease, wit, and charm….The audience sprang to their feet.. a show filled with everything - humour, romance, drama and a whole lot of food and wine….

Theatresuite 101

(This is) a party everyone will want to attend.

Toronto SunSteve Tilley

Sometimes it's just great seeing good theatre... The writing was spot on… this is a show not to miss.

The Torontoist

Production Details

3 Male

3 Female

 2 acts, 90 minutes

By Alison Lawrence

Purchase Play Script

Production History

2006 – Premiered at The Toronto Fringe, produced by the mcguffin co. and directed by Ed Sahely
November – December 2009 – Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, Catering Queen Co-op, director: Ed Sahely
The Catering Queen starred: Hume Baugh (2006), Dmitry Chepovetsky, Sharon Heldt, Alison Lawrence, David Macniven, Mary Francis Moore and Brian Young (2009)
Published by Scirocco Drama 2011, available here.


Audience Choice Production, ‘Pick of the Fringe’
Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Ensemble:  NOW Magazine
Dora Nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role: Mary Francis Moore

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