Review: 2.22 A Ghost Story

222s is a brand of northern American pain killers and you might need to take a couple to calm you down after this tense, tight, thrilling play. Piercing screams, a pulsating red neon frame to the stage, spooky garden mist and an unrelenting countdown clock – you’re already on edge of your seat and the show hasn’t even begun.

This is a fasten-your-seat-belt, you are in for a bumpy night modern classic that will give the 69- years and still counting  Mousetrap a run for its money.

The play is so cleverly written, with smart one liners ricocheting like bullets, ghosts from the characters’ pasts, twists and unexpected turns powerfully performed by this first run, four-hander cast.  There’s star wattage and skill from Lily Allen, a very promising West end debut from Julia Chen,  the seasoned Hadley Fraser and the show-stealing EastEnder Jake Wood. All endlessly watchable, uptight and desperately trying to outwit each other. It’s a little bit shouty and screechy – like the off-stage feral foxes, but a fascinating theatrical and supernatural phenomenon.

Lily Allen, Julia Chan, Hadley Fraser and Jake Wood in 2.22

“There’s something in our house. I hear it every night, at the same time,” says Jenny (Lily Allen) who believes her new home is haunted, but her husband Sam (Hadley Fraser) isn’t having any of it. They argue with their first dinner guests, Sam’s old friend Lauren (Julia Chan) and her new partner Ben (Jake Wood). Something feels strange and frightening, and that something is getting closer,  the clock is ticking and the baby monitor is crackling into life so they’re going to stay up until 2:22 am and then they’ll know.

This edge-of-your-seat, supernatural thriller from award-winning writer Danny Robins, creator of the hit BBC podcast The Battersea Poltergeist, is directed by Matthew Dunster and produced by West End and Broadway’s hit partnership of Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons.

It was my first night back at the theatre and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s something powerful in the collective experience of live theatre – especially one with audience jumps. Welcome back theatre, we’ve missed you.



Dates: Friday 13 August – Saturday 16 October 2021

Running Time: 2 hours (inc. interval)

Venue: Noel Coward Theatre, 85-88 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4AP

Theatre fix for MANinLONDON at 2.22 Press Night