Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: May I Have the Bill Please? by Robin Mitchell, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock
We’ve all been there, although whether to the exaggerated degree of those in Robin Mitchell’s site-specific comedy play is open to debate. Two older couples – clearly so used to sharing a meal out together that its more contentious traditions have become a wearying norm – have reached the end of their dinner and it’s time to decide how they’re going to pay. Will the couple who picked it up last time get it, or their companions? Do they split it equally, or look at what everyone had? Will they pay cash or cheque or a bit of both? Do they, asks John McColl’s curmudgeonly Chris, really have to tip Blair Grandison’s waiter, whose contempt for him is barely concealed?
If this all sounds a bit too much like an episode of Duty Free with Keith Barron from the 1980s, then yes, there is a fair amount of shining a light on middle-class, middle-aged problems here. But within that, Mitchell has engaged with the subject well – not just of after-dinner etiquette, but with the idea of putting on a comedy of manners with a particularly Scottish tone. It occasionally clunks – Chris and Michael (Edward Cory) joking about their wives (Donna Hazelton and Lindsey Lee Wilson) mud-wrestling induces a cringe – but more often it inspires a warm laugh of recognition.
The Boards (Venue 59A), run ended
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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