2:22 A Ghost Story at the Apollo Theatre review: A tremendously tense night out

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

2:22 A Ghost Story
Apollo Theatre 

2:22 A Ghost Story is quickly carving its name out in the UK theatre scene. Having played a number of runs at various West End theatres to much acclaim and with a touring version coming up, it's certainly a show which knows how to spook and entertain audiences.

Based on experiences had by the play's writer, Danny Robbins, this haunting production takes you on a thrilling journey into the supernatural, exploring themes of love, loss, and the unbreakable bonds that transcend time. The storyline is quite masterfully crafted, keeping you on the edge of your seat but equally including lots of humour which really works well and in fact makes the whole thing feel even more realistic. The pacing is solid, with suspense building at the right moments, and unexpected twists that keep you guessing. Sometimes the sound effects are a bit over obvious and aren't particularly scary but as a whole this is a really solid production.

Set at a dinner party, with minimal set or moving pieces, this really is a character driven piece and the cast do well at creating a truthful atmosphere that perfectly portrays a boozy evening. Sophia Bush's performance as Lauren is a really wonderful one; she is effortlessly sarky and charming and also has some tender moments that bring layers of complexity to the role. Ricky Champ plays her partner, Ben and is absolutely fantastic, his comedic timing is perfect and his intriguing character is so enjoyable to watch and try to work out. Taking on the role of Jenny, the tormented protagonist, Jamie Winstone brings depth and vulnerability and comes across quite genuinely terrified, with Clifford Samuel as her husband Sam the pair showcase an interesting dynamic which really takes you on a journey and shows you that families aren't always what they seem on the outside. 

Whats great with this show is that it's more than a surface level thriller; it also comments on social and economic issues, as well as beliefs and science vs supernatural. There are times when the commentary comes across as a bit forced and out of left field but for the most part, topics are broached well and really elevate the production to be more socially nuanced and topical. The chemistry among the whole cast is palpable, adding an extra layer of realism to the relationships portrayed on stage.

Anna Fleischle's set design leaves space for lots of spooky moments but is also perfectly mundane and fitting for the setting of the show. The Apollo Theatre really looks like it's had an open plan kitchen dropped into it and the attention to detail really captures the essence of a family home. Combined with atmospheric lighting by Lucy Carter, the ghostly tale has a perfect backdrop.

If you're a fan of thought-provoking theatre 2:22 A Ghost Story is a definite must-see. From the superb performances to the captivating storyline, this play transports you to a realm where the lines between the living and the dead blur, and where love and loss intertwine in ways you never thought possible. Running for two hours which fly by, this is theatrical experience that will linger in your mind like a persistent ghost long after the final curtain falls.

Reviewed on Tuesday 30th May 2023
photo credit: Helen Murray

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}