2:22 A Ghost Story ★★★★ Lyric Theatre | Until April 23, 2023

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Jenny has just spent a few days alone with her baby in a new house where something strange seems to be going on. When her skeptical, know-it-all husband, Sam, returns from his trip, he discounts her fears. Similarly, at a dinner party, when his old school chum, Lauren, and her latest boyfriend, Ben, sympathise with his wife's concerns he thoroughly disparages any notions of the supernatural. The show has the audience guessing from beginning to end, and keeps everyone vacillating in the battle between the rationalist and the possible believers. Cheryl, who has taken on the role of Jenny, demonstrates considerable acting chops and puts in a good performance as the terrified wife. Her irritation with her husband's dismissive and condescending attitude and her own anxiety ring completely true. Louise Ford as the psychiatrist, Lauren, and Jake Wood as her working class boyfriend who have both previously had paranormal experiences do fine jobs of luring the audience into the circle of doubt about what is going on in this strange situation. For us, the performance of Scott Karim as Sam seemed limited to a single register. A shouted delivery of many lines rather robs the character of nuance, but the rationalist's debunking smugness is beautifully expressed. Danny Robins has written a terrific exemplar of the genre and Anna Fleischle has created a set that is recognisable and imbued with atmosphere. Hats off also to Matthew Dunster for his unobtrusive direction, with a show that could easily go over the top. 2:22 A Ghost Story has already had a few homes in the West End, and its latest incarnation at the Lyric Theatre certainly does it justice. Long may it haunt London's theatre scene!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Helen Murray.

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