2:22 A Ghost Story will send shivers through its Chichester audience

2.22: Vera Chok and George Rainsford (pic by Johan Persson)2.22: Vera Chok and George Rainsford (pic by Johan Persson)
2.22: Vera Chok and George Rainsford (pic by Johan Persson)
George Rainsford (Call the Midwife, Casualty) comes to 2:22 A Ghost Story hot on the heels of a touring Roy Grace mystery from Peter James set in a spooky French chateau.

He is well used to things going bump in the night and that will be a big theme once again in the cult hit 2:22 when it comes to Chichester Festival Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday, February 6-10. He will be joined on stage by Jay McGuiness (The Wanted, BIG! The Musical, Rip It Up), Fiona Wade (Emmerdale, Silent Witness) and Vera Chok (Hollyoaks, Cobra) to take us through a night like no other.

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 as we count down to 2:22…

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George says: “The show has been a big success already and I saw the final West End cast and I absolutely loved it. I've always been a fan of (writer) Danny Robins (creator of the hit BBC podcasts Uncanny and The Battersea Poltergeist), and though I am team sceptic, I'm definitely interested by the genre. I love ghost stories and I love listening to Danny Robins’ podcast series.

“I'm playing the husband in this and it's really interesting having been in Casualty for such a long time where my character was quite balanced and quite sensible. The husband in this is totally the opposite. He is very self-assured and very keen to give his opinion but it's not from a nasty place. He just feels so strongly about his own point of view and he just really wants to help his wife when he doesn't believe her that the house is haunted.”

George is certainly pleased to have seen the show before actually coming to it himself: “It has got a very particular rhythm and a very fast pace to it and it's also really interesting how much the audience feed back. It is very visceral and very immersive and you can hear the gasps and the laughs and you get a sense of the audience chatting about it between the scenes. You really sense that they are involved.”

And obviously as an actor you have to play it absolutely in the moment: “It is one of those shows where you really want the audience to feel everything for the first time. I am told that there are lots of who come back to see it a second time because they're wanting to spot all the elements and to see what is revealed when they know what they know. They're coming along and it's actually all in the writing. There are some bread crumbs that they can pick up!”

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And for George a big part of the pleasure is the fact that he's never performed in Chichester before: “It is somewhere that has always been on my radar because of its amazing reputation so it will be great to play there.”

The Roy Grace play last year was George's first return to the stage in about ten years: “I was in Casualty for the whole time and that was my first return but this is really exciting too. I know how much fun it's going to be and I do like touring. We're playing about 23 different venues and it's really great to go to different parts of the country that maybe you haven't been to before and to spaces that you haven't played in before. That's a big part of the fun, and obviously lots of the theatres have really interesting histories as well.”

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