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Posted on Wed 17 Jan
Written by Danny Robins, the creator of popular BBC podcast The Battersea Poltergeist, 2:22 - A Ghost Story premiered in the West End in 2021 and received an Olivier Award nomination for best new play the following year. Now, for the first time, it’s out on tour and opened at Birmingham theatre The Alexandra last night.
There are certainly plenty of scares and screams in this chilling story, which begins by introducing the audience to new parents Jenny (Fiona Wade) and Sam (George Rainsford). Something very creepy is happening at their recently bought fixer upper home. At precisely 2:22am on consecutive nights, whilst Sam is away on a business trip, Jenny hears footsteps and a man crying via the monitor in her baby’s room. Finding no-one there, she believes that their new home is haunted. Sam, on the other hand, is sceptical in the extreme, dismissing her fears with rational explanations.
When the couple invite Lauren (Vera Chok), a university friend of Sam’s, and her new partner Ben (Jay McGuiness) to dinner, discussions become heated as sceptics and believers argue about the probable cause of the ‘spooky’ events. With a little persuasion from Jenny, the guests agree to stay until 2:22 in the morning and see if a ghost appears...
Although the play explores paranormal phenomena and features plenty of dramatic sound effects and eerie lighting, 2:22 isn’t just a great ghost story, it’s also a compelling drama. The audience are taken on a chilling journey into the heart of the characters’ emotions and complex relationship dynamics. Moments of real apprehension are cleverly interspersed with injections of delightful comedy - but be warned: you might well find yourself being lulled into a false sense of security...
It’s hard to write too much without giving away spoilers - suffice it to say that this is a gripping and intriguing story brilliantly delivered by a hugely talented cast. The ending? Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I think maybe I need to watch the play again to look out for the clues leading up to the final twist.
This really was a brilliantly entertaining night at the theatre!
2:22 - A Ghost Story was reviewed by Sue Hull on Tuesday 16 January at Birmingham’s The Alexandra, where it shows until this Saturday (20 January). The show visits the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 February
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