A ghost story that will keep you on the edge of your seat - review of 2:22 at Chichester Festival Theatre

‘2:22 A Ghost Story’ came to Chichester Festival Theatre, February 6-10. Gary Shipton was in the audience with his ‘scareometer’ to test just how frightening it actually was.
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Do you believe in ghosts, poltergeists and things that go bump in the night? This is the question which haunts Danny Robins script as two couples go on the hunt for a spectre.

It had all started out as such a pleasant evening with a little food, a lot of wine, and a great deal of convivial conversation. Jenny and Sam host the get-together in their newly acquired London flat which is desperately in need of renovation.

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But the arrival of old friend Lauren and her boyfriend Ben quickly demonstrates that it is not just the building that is in need of repair.

2.22 Jay McGuiness, Vera Chok, Fiona Wade, George Rainsford - Photo: Johan Persson2.22 Jay McGuiness, Vera Chok, Fiona Wade, George Rainsford - Photo: Johan Persson
2.22 Jay McGuiness, Vera Chok, Fiona Wade, George Rainsford - Photo: Johan Persson

The cracks are already appearing in Jenny and Sam’s marriage – wider and deeper than any of the plaster ravines in the ceiling and walls. Their new baby has yet to help cement matters.

Emotionally they are just papering over the cracks.

But the underlying tension comes not from sleepless nights induced by a screaming offspring but the heavy footsteps and crying of a ghostly man at precisely 2:22 every morning.

It’s the mother who is left screaming – and desperate to be believed by the guests and her husband who has just returned from a trip and has missed all the ghostly drama.

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So they agree to stay up and wait for the dreaded turn of the digital clock to see if the mysterious figure will make a repeat appearance.

As they do so, secrets in their own relationships are laid bare and their personal tensions are far more scary than any unexpected apparition.

This wonderful play has it all. A terrific cast, lots of jump out of your seat moments, and a script that holds your riveted to the final gasp-producing twist.

Just like the four on the stage, you won’t fall asleep. Meticulously constructed and packed with humour and horror, this ghost story is simply brilliant with a denouement which will bring you out in goosebumps.

Don’t miss it.

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