2:22 A Ghost Story hits a little different to all the other ghost related plays you see on stage these days, there no Victorian costumes or creepy lantern lit faces in the darkness, instead just 4 people in an ordinary looking house and a baby monitor. Instead of giving us an eerie back story of lost lovers or vengeful spirits we are left with a scenario that’s even more terrifying, something that could happen in our very own homes.
With an incredibly well written script 2:22 offers its audience the thrills and jump scares that they seek, but also incredible logic on ghost stories themselves. When Jenny (Louisa Lytton) becomes fearful of her new house, husband Sam (Nathaniel Curtis) is far from the comforting type insisting there is no such thing as ghosts. In a bid to make him believe she encourages him, his long time friend Lauren (Charlene Boyd) and her new partner Ben (Joe Absolom) to stay the night. As the night draws closer to 2:22, the time that the hauntings have been taking place, we see the effect that fear has on these individuals as the time creeps closer. Forced to wait in a “haunted house”, the beliefs and relationships of these individuals are tested, and emotions are at an all-time high is this fantastic psychological thriller.
The belief in ghosts has always been an interesting topic because it will always divide people, change your perception of those around you. There will always be believers, non-believers and skeptics. What this play does perfectly is gives you one of each and allows them to reason (or at times argue it out) with each other over what’s real, where the logic stands and exactly what ghosts may truly be. Instead of leading with pure fear, we are given reasons for why a haunting may happen, if they are just psychological and where the line of logic fades. Alongside this we are also given believable relationships between each character and ghost stories within the ghost story itself, making for a very entertaining and suspenseful couple of hours.
The set for this production Is fantastic, it’s really like looking through a window into a real house that’s in the stages of re-development, an old house with new features that in itself look sad and out of place (a factor that very much is played to in the show itself), a house that is not yet a home. From the old torn away wallpaper, to the brand new installed kitchen and sliding doors everything is detailed and believable. This being said it was all set quite a bit back on the stage making it feel a little smaller than probably necessary, but this may be a venue thing rather than a set tour problem, even sitting close to the stage we did feel a little too far away at times.
The cast are brilliant and work well together, their energy is huge and it’s easy to get immersed in their characters’ emotional subplots. The whole show is an emotional roller coaster that needs its audience to look out for the small details to really appreciate its plot and twists.
I thoroughly enjoyed this play and would recommend it to anyone who likes themselves a good ghost story thriller, just don’t expect something of the likes of The Woman Black or any other gothic ghost story as this is a play of logic and discussion more than a play of spooky horror itself. This is a brilliantly written psychological thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
2:22 A Ghost Story plays at the Festival Theatre from 26th to the 30th September.
Reviewer: Beth Eltringham
Reviewed: 26th September 7:30pm
North West End UK Rating: