The cast of Hastings-based theatre company It's Not Us were rehearsing their brand new dark comedy Time Please in preparation for a pre-Brighton Fringe preview.
In the play, an unhinged regular takes a pub landlord and lady hostage, threatening to blow up the boozer unless his bizarre demands are met.
However, rehearsals took an unexpected turn when a passer by heard a commotion from behind the closed pub doors and called the police, thinking a genuine disturbance was taking place.
"The play is a bit shouty and sweary," said Kate Tym who co-wrote the script and plays the part of feisty publican, Cath.
"It seems it was a bit too real. Someone passing called the police saying there was a "woman in distress.""
Three police cars soon arrived on the scene, to find rehearsals in full swing.
"Hats off to the police for a speedy response," said John Knowles, co-author, who plays Cath's husband, Steve.
"Fortunately, there was no trouble afoot and police were greeted by three jolly thespians, albeit with one (Garry Fox, who plays Keith) dressed in a fake bomb vest. "
We're taking it as a testament to the realism of the play," said Garry.
Publican Chris Leach said@ "That's the first time in nearly five years that the police have been called to our pub!"
Time Please held a sell-out Brighton preview in Hastings on Tuesday evening, and arrives at the Bee"s Mouth in Brighton from 25-29 May 2017. For Brighton Fringe news and listings CLICK HERE.