Reviewed by Michaela Clement Hayes
A flat in North London. A ticking clock. Pea stew. Snap. Death.
Socially awkward Charlie (Chris Mayo who also wrote the play) has finally found somewhere to live and at first look it seems ideal, but is his live-in landlord Ed (Owen Llewelyn) really what he seems?
Cuckoo Bang Productions have come up with a dark (quite literally, as the set is quite frequently plunged into blackness) and disturbing play, that brings the audience into a familiar, but extremely awkward situation.
It’s a common occurrence in London – two strangers with nothing in common begin living together and gradually find out the truth about the other. Quite soon we learn that both Charlie and Ed have social issues, but which of them will crack first?
The main story involves just the two of them ‘getting to know each other’ and revealing their underlying issues, but towards the end we meet the characters we have heard about: Charlie’s girlfriend Rachel, the courier and Ed’s dead mother who comes in right at the end to help him clear up the mess.
Despite the circumstances, the interaction between Ed and his mother (is she really dead?) is quite a tender moment and we are left wondering if this final scene takes place in Ed’s imagination (as his mother comes in through the front door, I would say so).
Although the story was cleverly observed and well-written, with excellent acting (particularly the facial expressions and looks the cast gave each other throughout), it was slightly too long and the ending was fairly predictable (think Psycho). However, the awkwardness left the audience squirming in their seats, so for his debut play, Mayo has done well and I look forward to seeing his next piece.
Between Ten and Six plays at London’s Leicester Square Theatre until 20th April 2013.