2:22 A Ghost Story

With its intimate setting and eerie atmosphere, "2:22 - A Ghost Story" offers a suspenseful and haunting exploration of the paranormal. Written by Danny Robins, and after two very successful years in the West End, this play has now been taken on the road for its first tour. 

The play is a four-hander starring Vera Chok (Lauren), Jay McGuiness (Ben), George Rainsford (Sam) and Fiona Wade (Jenny) and takes place in Sam and Jenny’s new house which is undergoing renovation.  Every detail on stage has been meticulously thought through, including partly decorated walls, different colour swabs of paint in various places and large patio doors that lead into the garden.  Thanks to the set design by Anna Fleischle, you are instantly transported into someone’s home which felt welcoming….at first!

The premise of the show centres around Jenny hearing something or someone at 2:22am every day over the past four days.  After holding a dinner party for Lauren and Ben, the conversation turns to the spooky goings on, and they all agree to stay there until the fateful time just so Jenny can convince them she isn’t losing her mind.  Her husband Ben is highly cynical about it and offers up many logical explanations which increases the tension between the two as the evening goes on.

As we take our seats in the auditorium there is a large digital LED clock with red numbers ticking round which instantly creates an element of suspense. As the play starts, the stage surround is lit by bright red strip lighting (Lighting Design by Lucy Carter) and thus commences the first of the jump scare noises scattered throughout (Sound Designer Ian Dickinson) which come courtesy of the neighbourhood foxes, and if you’ve ever heard foxes, you’ll know what sort of concerning noise they make, however they are perfectly combined with thumping music which has you jumping in your seat. If you are of a nervous disposition, be advised that these noises are very loud, but they add to the very tense atmosphere extremely well.  We see Jenny painting the door surround in the early hours of the morning and your eyes are instantly drawn to the clock as it approaches 2:22. I found myself watching and waiting to see what would happen as soon as the clock ticked over……. however, I won’t spoil that.  In fact, I won’t be offering any spoilers at all as we are asked to keep the story a secret.

The four friends offer us a look into each of their inner most thoughts surrounding the paranormal as the story navigates its way through the evening.  Jay McGuiness as Ben offers us a cheeky chappy persona and gave a strong performance, adding in moments of comedy.  Vera Chok as Ben’s girlfriend Lauren also gave a confident performance, growing more intoxicated as the evening went on.  George Rainsford as Sam was very animated in his portrayal and his on-stage chemistry with wife Jenny played by Fiona Wade worked well.  There were certain moments when the dialogue felt placed, as opposed to flowing organically, however this did not detract from the overall tense and thrilling atmosphere on stage.

There are many questions to be poised from the show and if you are a lover of all things paranormal, this show is one for you.  The ultimate twist comes right at the end and for me, it was a shocking revelation and certainly not what I was expecting to happen, which is of course the sign of excellent writing by Danny Robins.  So my question as I left the theatre was, ‘do I believe in ghosts?’…..the answer is still undecided, but what I do know is that 2:22 A Ghost Story kept me captivated from start to finish and is definitely one to watch.

This show was reviewed on the 20th February 2024 at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre where 2:22 A Ghost Story runs until the 24th February 2024.  Ticket available here: 2:22: A GHOST STORY | Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Review written by Emma Rowley

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Photo credit: Johan Persson

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