Friday, 16 September 2022

REVIEW: 2:22 A Ghost Story at The Criterion Theatre

Who doesn’t love staying up late? Almost everyone, however when it’s to find out what the mysterious footsteps are in your one-year-old daughters' room and whose voice that belongs to walking around, suddenly it’s not so appealing. 

For Jenny (Laura Whitmore) and her husband Sam (Felix Scott), it’s exactly that. the past few nights at exactly 2:22 those noises and voices happen repeatedly, so midway through an evening of drinking they ask Sam’s good friend Lauren (Tamsin Carroll) and new partner Ben (Matt Willis) to stay and see for themselves to prove Jenny Isn’t as crazy as Sam thinks she is.

As we take our seats we have a few minutes to take in the set, a bold design from designer Anna Fleischle. An old house with its wallpapers in the process of being stripped, yet a modern showroom kitchen. A couple clearly in mid-renovation. It’s natural and allows us as the audience to relate to an everyday couple changing a house they’ve recently moved into. 

The show itself is fantastic, it’s expertly written by Danny Robins. It blends just the right amount of hysterical horror and suspense to create a witty piece of theatre with its shocking twist saved till the very end. We laugh along with the humour and then are quickly caught off guard by the various jumps in the scenes. What’s clever with the writing is how the time 2:22 is portrayed. Once the time is shown on screen on the stage, the closer it gets to 2:22 you begin to overthink and assume they’ll be absolute chaos on stage but the events that unfold are far more sinister. 

The cast involved does a remarkable job of being naturalistic and that’s where the show excels. For large amounts of time, it’s just four people having drinks and talking about the paranormal yet it never gets boring. You almost begin to feel you’re there with them and going along the journey from start to finish. It flows seamlessly and all the reactions are natural, no point does it feel like acting other than possibly a few arguments where the actions and reactions feel scripted, other than that it’s performed exceptionally well. Matt Willis is very humerus and one to gravitate towards when watching the show.

Director Matthew Dunster has complimented the fine writing with expert direction to create a fantastic piece of theatre. An evening with friends, that starts seemingly harmless and very quickly turns into much more. Ghost or no ghost, the only thing out of the ordinary here would be you to miss this show! 

Review by George Butler

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Stalls H13 | Price of Ticket: £65.00
Blog Design by pipdig