Liam Rudden: Getting technical with The Bill

Cast of May I Have The Bill Please?. Pic: Liam Ruden
Cast of May I Have The Bill Please?. Pic: Liam Ruden
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FIRST of six tech rehearsals done and dusted, five more productions to go. I must be mad.

All across the Capital ‘ghost shows’ are taking place - the actors are on the stage, the techs are ensuring lights and sound are cued with levels set and stage managers have their stop watches out. With rolling programmes, shows must not over-run. The only thing missing is an audience.

Tech (technical) and dress rehearsals out of the way, the first Fringe-goers of the year will be admitted. But if you imagine an opening performance can be stressful for the actors and crew, the tech can be more so. Usually it’s the first time the cast has seen, let alone performed in the space destined to be their home for three weeks,and it can take time to settle.

In the meantime, no one wants to be the weak link, dropping lines or missing entrances. With all the distractions it’s easily done. Thankfully, there’s an old theatrical adage that says a bad dress rehearsal ensures a great opening night. Unfortunately, it also works the other way around, so few crave a perfect dress.

Thankfully the tech and dress of May I Have the Bill Please? at The Playhouse ran smoothly, with just a couple of glitches to be sorted.

Nonetheless, my cast of five will no doubt still have butterflies ahead of the premiere of this new piece by local playwright Robin Mitchell, the man behind the Cadies and Witchery Tours - you might have seen him leading ghost tours as the white-faced Adam Lyal (Deceased) back in the day.

It’s an hilarious look at what happens when two couples split the bill after a meal, a scenario recognisable to anyone who has worked in the hospitality trade.

The piece is immersive, played in an actual ‘restaurant’ and probably has the easiest tech on this year’s Fringe - a table, four chairs and a handful of props, just add daylight and a lot of laughs. Fringe theatre in its truest sense.

May I Have The Bill Please?, Playhouse, Greenside Place, today-29 August (not Sundays), 2pm, £10, 0844-871 3014