20 September 2023

2:22 A Ghost Story @ Theatre Royal Newcastle

I don’t often review anything remotely to do with ghosts or horror (and have to watch horror films during the day to be able to cope) so I was hoping that 2:22 A Ghost Story wouldn’t mess up my sleep for a week. I had seen the play promoted a lot on Instagram over the past year – stars such as Cheryl and Laura Whitmore have been cast members but thankfully I somehow managed to avoid finding out too much about the plot. If you’re heading to the Theatre Royal this week try not to read spoilers!  

The play is set in a renovated old house recently bought by new parents Jenny and Sam. Lauren, Sam’s old Uni friend and her new boyfriend Ben have been invited round for dinner. We find out that Jenny' been having a pretty stressful week whilst Sam was on a work trip – she’s hearing things in her daughter’s bedroom at the same time each night. Sam is a sceptic who likes to explain everything away with logic and science, much to the frustration of his wife. Lauren and Ben are more open to things that bump (or thud) in the night. Understandably Jenny gets angry about not being believed and asks everyone to stay up until 2:22 to confirm that she’s not imagining things. The clock ticks by as stories are shared, tensions become high and the night gets scarier and scarier. 

Photo by Johan Persson

Louise Lytton (Jenny) does a great job of conveying the fear and confusion of someone who’s being haunted, and Nathaniel Curtis (Sam) is convincing as a know-it-all cynic who would rather be right than support his wife. Charlotte Boyd brings comedic value as Lauren, a brash American who likes a drink. And Joe Absolom (Ben) provides a believable counterpoint to Sam as someone who has grown up around ghostly happenings and vigils/seances.

Kudos to the set, lighting and sound designers who create a low-level sense of threat from the get-go and some pretty decent jump scares! I met some women who go to vigils in scary properties around the country. So who knows, I could be ghost hunting in a stately home at some point soon, all because of this brilliant play!

2:22 A Ghost Story at is Theatre Royal, Newcastle until Saturday 23rd September – buy tickets here.

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