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★★★★ 2:22: A Ghost Story Review - By Callum Stott

©Johan Persson

Very few things split the public’s opinion more than the very existence of ghosts and the paranormal. Did that table move? Was that shadowy figure there? 2:22: A Ghost Story explores this in a clever ghostly tale that asks why, at 2:22 each night, the strangest of things continue to occur.

After taking the West End by storm since 2021, this celebrated ghostly play embarks on its first UK tour, stopping off in Edinburgh for a weeklong run. Festival Theatre, Edinburgh is one of the largest yet most intimate spaces in the city. Although the stage size is one of the UK’s biggest, wherever you are in the audience, you never feel too far from the stage. The intimate nature of this vast auditorium allows the suspenseful play to suck you in, and you feel like you aren’t merely an observer but an active part of the show.

©Johan Persson

2:22: A Ghost Story is set in a renovated house where, for several nights, the home’s new owner, Jenny (Louisa Lytton), is awoken each night at 2.22 a.m. to strange noises. She believes this is more than just drainpipes or the heating system, and she asks her friend Lauren (Charlene Boyd), Lauren’s boyfriend Ben (Joe Absolom), as well as her husband Sam (Nathaniel Curtis) to stay up with her until 2.22 am to experience it for themselves. Each character has a view on whether ghosts are real or not, and the script, written by Danny Robins, excels in its interactions between the main characters and explores how each character’s past experiences shape their views on this topic and the actions they take throughout the play. Throughout the two-hour runtime, you get to know these characters fully, and this setting of the scene throughout Act 1 allows a great payoff in Act 2 when all the exposition and character development start to lead towards a very dramatic conclusion.

In this UK tour cast, you are treated to strong performances with brilliant actors. All four performers are at the top of their game and connect with you entirely, taking you on a real rollercoaster of emotions throughout the many twists and turns of this clever play. Matthew Dunster and Isabel Marr’s direction should also be applauded, as everything comes together well in powerful acting performances and unique staging.

©Johan Persson

Without spoiling anything, some of the show’s many practical effects and illusions help amplify the suspense, including the use of fire and bright lighting to give it a horror feel while remaining engaging, with a focus on storytelling. That is why this piece succeeds; the story is the key ingredient, and it’s well-written. The use of great staging, practical effects, and audio only enhances the experience for the audience, making a ghost story even more exciting.

©Johan Persson

2:22: A Ghost Story leans into suspense and leaves the audience many times throughout the performance at the edge of their seats. The play is also filled with the occasional jump scare, satisfying fans who are keen on getting a bit of a fright. For fans of a ghost story or those who love to experience exciting theatre, this performance is a brilliant combination of ghostly storytelling and theatrical spectacle.

2:22: A Ghost Story performs at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh until the 30th of September and is currently on a UK Tour. Book tickets here:



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