May I Have The Bill Please?

August 11, 2015 | By | Reply More

✭✭✭✩✩   A comical faff

Young critics scheme review
The Boards (Venue 59a): Wed 5 – Sat 29 Aug 2015

Witty middleclass middle-aged comedy, May I Have The Bill Please? by Robin Mitchell overanalyses what happens when a group of adults are given the bill for a meal.

The play looks at how two couples attempt to split a bill after a meal out in a restaurant. While being served by an almost helpful waiter (Blair Grandison) every possible time-consuming scenario happens: forgotten wallets, wrong bill and much more.

Emma (Lindsey Lee Wilson) and Samuel (Blair Grandison). Photo: Playhouse

Emma (Lindsey Lee Wilson) and Samuel (Blair Grandison). Photo: Playhouse

Director Liam Rudden’s decision to set this in The Boards, a bar attached to the Edinburgh Playhouse, is effective as it creates a relaxing restaurant-esque atmosphere with audience seating consisting of chairs and bar stools arranged around tables.

There are interesting dynamics between the couples. Emma (Lindsay Lee Wilson) and Michael (Edward Cory) are a sweet couple who seem to agree on most points. On the other hand Chris (John McColl) and Sandra (Donna Hazelton) have a love-hate relationship – with most of the hate directed towards Chris.

Hazelton portrays a very strong character with a hilariously scolding nature who seems to have something to say about everything. McColl as her husband gives a generally good performance but his character feels much more two dimensional and lacks emotional depth. However, his boorish interaction with the waiter is very entertaining.

pacifier

Michael as a quiet, awkwardly funny man is a good pacifier for Chris’ boorish nature as the two men joke around in a classically childish way. Cory is definitely the funniest of the five as he has the best lines but they aren’t always excellently delivered.

Blair Grandison as the waiter Samuel displays a characteristically polite nature but given the clever staging it can be seen as just a façade. This adds a subtlety to some of the humour.

Although it is not quite a joke-a-minute this is still a thoroughly enjoyable, very relatable, and well-written piece.

Running time: 45 minutes
The Boards (Venue 59a), Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, EH1 3AA
Wednesday 5 – Saturday 29 Aug 2015 (not Sundays)
Daily, not Sunday, 2pm.
Book tickets on the EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/may-i-have-the-bill-please-by-robin-mitchell
ENDS

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