REVIEW: 2:22 A GHOST STORY @ THE LYRIC
🎭 2:22 A Ghost Story
📍 Lyric Theatre, 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
🗓 Saturday 21st January 2023
BELIEVABLE AND WELL ACTED
Saturday was the first preview of the venue and cast change of 2:22 A Ghost Story and I took the opportunity to see the play for the first time. I was not disappointed.
Playing at the Lyric Theatre, the cast now includes Cheryl as Jenny, Scott Karim as Sam and Louise Ford as Lauren. Unfortunately due to illness during rehearsals, Hugo Chegwin has had to pull out of the production so at this performance the part of Ben was played by Ben Cutler. It has since been announced that Jake Wood is to return to play Ben following his award-winning performance in the original West End cast.
Production Image: Cheryl as Jenny
Jenny and Sam have recently bought a new house and have been renovating since they moved in. Sam is now home after being away for a few days and they have invited their friend Lauren and her new boyfriend Ben over for supper.
Jenny is a bit annoyed after Sam wouldn't answer his phone while away. She is also a bit stressed and freaked out as every night he was away she heard footsteps and a man crying in their daughters bedroom. This always happened at 2:22 am, but when she entered the room and switched the on the light, the noises would stop.
Sam is dismissive of this and believes everything can be described by science, but Jenny is genuinely scared. She tells this story to Lauren and Ben who believe her and they all agree to stay awake until 2:22 am and see what happens.
Lauren is one of Sam's oldest friends and he get's a bit annoyed that she sides with Jenny over the spooky goings on and he doesn't believe that Ben is good enough for her.
Ben has an affinity with the spiritual realm and leads the group in a seance. Sam is dead against this and Ben challenges him as to his reasons.
I don't want to give too much away about the plot, but I will say that apart from the short opening scene, the majority of the play takes place over this one night.
Production Image: Scott Karim as Sam and Louise Ford as Lauren
The acting in this piece was phenomenal throughout. Seeing as this was the very first preview, I almost expected some mistakes but other than a slightly delayed start, the show ran very smoothly.
Cheryl, making her West End debut, was fantastic as Jenny. I completely believed every word she said and you could hear the terror in her voice as she was describing these unexplained events.
Louise Ford as Lauren was a bit more carefree, but gave a sensitive performance and showed emotion when needed.
Ben Cutler was outstanding as Ben. I believed everything about his characterisation and he was perhaps my favourite of the four.
Scott Karim's Sam was slightly annoying at times, but his character gave a great dynamic to the piece which was needed and gave the story conflict.
My favourite part was the ending, when there was a twist that I was not expecting. This was cleverly written by Danny Robins and you could feel the audience reaction at this revelation. Suddenly things throughout the play made sense and I would love to rewatch the play now that I know the ending.
Matthew Dunster's direction was sublime and when married with set design by Anna Fleischle and lighting by Lucy Carter the audience were treated to an amazing production.
The reason for a 4.5 star rating instead of a 5 is that it wasn't scary, which I was really wanting it to be. As I have already stated, the story and acting were strong but I wanted to be scared and to be jumping out of my seat which I wasn't. There were jumps throughout but these were caused by sudden loud screams and blackouts, which happened for the scene changes but weren't actually part of the story.
2:22 A Ghost Story continues with this cast at the Lyric Theatre until 23rd April 2023.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open, honest and free from influence.
Production Image: Louise Ford as Lauren