REVIEW: 2:22 A Ghost Story at The Alexandra

Some shows generate hype when they arrive in a city or perform in the capital and, on occasion, the reality can be less exciting. However 2:22 A Ghost Story is the epitome of a hyped-up stage-show that couldn't be more justified in its title.

2:22 is written by award-winning writer Danny Robins and is directed by Matthew Dunster. Brilliantly funny and intriguing, the audience are in for an adrenaline-filled night where secrets emerge and ghosts may, or may not, appear. It's also a piece which stays with you - sitting and writing about the production, and reliving the action on stage, still sends shivers down my spine!

The plot is straightforward. 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 - when Jenny reveals she hears footsteps and crying in their daughters bedroom each morning at exactly 2:22am. 

Throughout the evening, belief and scepticism clash. Sam is a man of science who has to have an explanation for everything, whilst the other three in the room have more faith in the supernatural. But something feels strange and frightening, and that something is getting closer. So they’re going to stay up until 2:22….and then they’ll know.

First thing's first - this is a stunning piece of theatre.

It's fair to say there's been a lot of expectation placed on 2:22, which began its West End run in 2021 before productions opened as far afield as Australia and Singapore. For a long time it was the show to see in London, so much so that at the end of its initial engagement the demand meant it had to move to a new venue - a feat it repeated a further four times.

The intrigue and mystery behind the story is akin to The Mousetrap's 'whodunnit' element. In fact it's incredibly difficult to talk about the action on stage without making reference to spoilers that don't need to be revealed!

I can honestly say that, whilst I definitely went into this expecting to have to look out for 'holes' in the plot that gave away the twist, the subtlety and, in some cases, throwaway reference to things means I'm still having moments now - three hours later - where something falls into place. I've run through the entire plot in my head and I'm still thinking of things that happened on stage and reframing them with the information I know now!

Whilst 2:22 certainly fulfils its 'thriller' remit well (and has some great jump-scares) the real aesthetic of this production is it's creepy, haunting nature. 2:22 makes you question your understanding and drip feeds you the information you need to make judgements, whilst also being very funny at the same time. One liners often take the place of an expected shock and as the piece progresses you can see audience members start to sink into their seat as the eerie music draws to a climax, only to be met by a joke rather than a scare. It's that variety that, for me, sets this show apart from many of its contemporaries.

Gorge Rainsford is exceptionally well cast as Sam, alongside Fiona Wade as Jenny. Their chemistry is exceptional with is being perfectly plausible that they'd been married for years. In particular, Wade's final scene was stunning and gave a real gravitas to the plot twist. 

Equally glorious to watch were Jay McGuinness and Vera Chok as Ben and Lauren respectively. Chok gave us a beautifully layered characterisation of Lauren and McGuinness - probably best known as a pop-star and Strictly winner - showed his acting prowess with a hilarious portrayal of Ben.

2:22 is a story of mystery and intrigue and, whilst in hindsight there is only one possible ending, the writers threw in a curve ball when the audience least expected it. 

It's very rare that, in a review, I urge you to get tickets but I'll happily make an exception for this show. This is a wonderful piece of theatre that should be seen at least once by everyone.

And if you do go, theres a few top tips to bear in mind. Question everything, trust nobody and remember - you're being told what's happening just can't see it yet!

2:22 A Ghost Story runs at The Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 20th January 2022. For more information, or to get your tickets, visit

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