If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Between Ten and Six may be one of the most flattering plays in London. Unfortunately, its confused hotchpotch of inspirations makes it more half-finished, drama-student scrapbook than a satisfying piece of standalone theatre.
The premise is decent, if familiar – two wildly different characters forced into one living space (so far, so Odd Couple) due to topical housing problems (a popular studio theatre theme at the moment – see DC Moore’s Straight at the Bush, Sarah Wooley’s Old Money at the Hampstead), leading to bouts of black comedy, excess and predictable escalation into violence.
That the play sacrifices dramatic development for pastiche is problematic enough, but it can’t even decide which genre or writer it wants to ape the most. Is this a contemporary take on Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, or a Pinteresque study of everyday menace, or a British comedy of manners tipping over into macabre, à la Sightseers, or Fawlty Towers hysterical farce, or an extended Little Britain sketch, or a Psycho-style episode of Midsomer Murders, or, or, or…?