2:22 A Ghost Story
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: New Victoria Theatre, Woking 
Cast: Vera Chok, Jay McGuiness, George Rainsford, Fiona Wade, Aaron Dart and Rachel Morris 

Jenny believes her new home is haunted, but her husband Sam isn’t having any of it. They argue with their first dinner guests, old friend Lauren and new partner Ben. Can the dead really walk again? Belief and scepticism clash, but something feels strange and frightening, and that something is getting closer. So they’re going to stay up until 2:22….and then they’ll know.

Following successful runs at various West End venues, 2:22 A Ghost Story is now haunting theatres around the country on its nationwide UK tour. It’s a story that will keep you guessing and have you reflecting on the intricacies of Danny Robins’ writing long after you’ve left the theatre as you piece together details in the script that finally make sense once the ending is revealed.

The set design by Anna Fleischle really struck me as clever, showing us into the open-plan kitchen of married couple Jenny and Sam as they host Sam’s old friend Lauren and her boyfriend Ben for dinner. This homely setting allows for thoughtful conversations about ghostly goings-on. The foursome discuss whether ghosts really exist, who they may be and why they appear - all conversations we’ve probably all had in such settings ourselves.

This play certainly makes you jump using a variety of clever techniques, particularly with the use of sound and lighting. Short, sharp sounds and screams break up tense conversations and moments - from foxes screaming intermittently in the garden, to the baby monitor gurgling. This worked really well and gave us just enough to keep us guessing - we knew something was coming but we just didn’t know what.

Inspired lighting choices are also used throughout, with a candlelit séance scene and thunder and lightning adding to the drama in act two. The bold, bright thin strip of red lights surrounding the stage, accompanied by screaming whenever they were used, cleverly allowed for quick set and scene changes without losing the previously built up suspense.

Of course, no show is complete without an excellent cast, and that’s exactly what this production has. Jay McGuiness really shone as Ben, with some hilarious one-liners providing plenty of laughs throughout to break the tension. Fiona Wade also showcased her talent as terrified new mum Jenny. Her character was one of the more developed ones for me, and Fiona played the role brilliantly with plenty of nuance.

For 2:22 A Ghost Story, the build-up of tension is really what makes this show a winner. The clock ticking round to 2:22 throughout only adds to this - we are drawn back to the show’s title, longing to know the significance of the time and the reasons for the hauntings, and the final scene tying everything together does not disappoint.

Audiences are reminded to keep the story a secret at the end of the show, but it is no secret that this is a great watch that will keep you guessing to the end.

You can book tickets to 2:22 A Ghost Story at New Victoria Theatre, here.

Review by Vickie

**photo credit: Johan Persson**

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