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Review: 2:22 A Ghost Story at Nottingham Theatre Royal





The clue is in the title, but 2:22 A Ghost Story really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Literally, from the moment the performance starts the audience are jumping out of their seats with fright – and that continues throughout the spine-tingling performance.

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking – ghost stories have been told many times before – but the difference with this one is that it is done so well.

2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/
2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/

The smash-hit West End supernatural thriller is at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal this week and it is easy to see why it has been captivating audiences for so long.

Tension is there from the start, interspersed with plenty of moments of comedy, but then the tension is ratcheted up, and ratcheted up some more as you wait for the next fright that will surely come.

The premise is simple: A married couple, Sam and Jenny, have moved into a house with their new daughter. Left alone with only her baby for a few days, Jenny has a nightly paranormal encounter – always at 2.22am.

2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/
2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/

This is revealed at a dinner party with Sam’s old college friend Lauren and her new partner Ben – sparking a huge and tense debate about the existence of ghosts.

With neither believers or sceptics willing to back down, the only thing remains is to wait until 2.22 when the truth will be revealed – or not.

It is brought to life by an all-star cast, including Newark’s Jay McGuiness as the cocky Cockney builder convinced of life after death.

2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/
2:22. A GHOST STORY by Robins, , Writer - Danny Robins, Director - MATTHEW DUNSTER & ISABEL MARR, Set designer - Anna Fleischle, Costume Designer - Cindy Lin, Lighting Designer - Lucy Carter, Royal Derngate theatre, Northampton, 2024, Credit: Johan Persson/

Joining him is George Rainsford as the obnoxious non-believer Sam, who always has to be right; Fiona Wade as his wife, driven almost crazy by the conflict with her husband and what she has witnessed; and Vera Chok as Lauren, the psychologist clearly disturbed by the evening’s events.

The script is clever in building the anticipation and but it is the staging, and particularly the use of lighting and sound, that keeps everyone on edge. That, and the big red digital clock on stage constantly edging towards 2.22….



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