Stuart King

Review: 2:22 - A GHOST STORY at Apollo Theatre

Danny Robins’ small-scale stage thriller has become something of an underground hit with audiences having opened at the Noël Coward, followed by further runs at the Gielgud, the Criterion and most recently the Lyric theatre. Now a new cast have been assembled to continue the ghostly goings-on at the production’s new home at the Apollo on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Clifford Samuel as Sam and Jaime Winstone as Jenny in 2:22 A Ghost Story Photo Helen MurrayClifford Samuel as Sam and Jaime Winstone as Jenny in 2:22 A Ghost Story. Photo Helen Murray

Sam has been away for work, but at their newly purchased London home, Jenny repeatedly hears inexplicable noises of someone moving around the house at 2:22 each night as she cares for their baby. Is the property they bought to renovate, haunted? Sam thinks not, but what will Uni pal Lauren make of Jenny’s fears when she’s invited to dinner and brings along her new builder boyfriend Ben who firmly believes in things which go bump in the night?

Sophia Bush, Ricky Champ, Clifford Samuel and Jaime Winstone head-up the new cast in director Matthew Dunster’s atmospheric chiller which relies on a cacophony of easy-win loud noises and sudden changes in lighting states to create those all important jumpy moments. Over a barely-prodded risotto and an evening largely composed of drinking and conversation around why the previous old lady owner might not have moved-on, the dialogue veers from gentle banter and bonhomie to barking and hysteria as the clock ticks down. Clearly there has been history between arch repeat manipulator Sam, and louche American sophisticate Lauren. Meanwhile Essex builder Ben, gives as good as he gets with his cheeky chappie retorts and back story about a childhood run-in with the inexplicable. It is left to Jenny to strut around the home she doesn’t care for, looking frazzled and irascible as the mating foxes in the garden let out their periodic screams and trigger the security lights. Who wouldn’t be on edge?

Whilst the new cast had yet to entirely bed-in their roles and interplay on their opening night, the show itself has enough crowd pleasing elements to continue packing ‘em in, and who knows if this will yet prove merely another, in an ever increasing list of casts and venues where the spook-fest plays to appreciative audiences.

Ricky Champ as Ben and Sophia Bush as Lauren 2:22 A Ghost Story. Photo Helen MurraySophia Bush as Lauren and Ricky Champ as Ben in 2:22 A Ghost Story. Photo Helen Murray