At the end of this play, the words "Shhhh. Don’t tell" are projected onto the set walls. So, don’t worry, we won’t be spoiling the play in this article.

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The RadioTimes.com team paid a visit to the Lyric Theatre in London recently, because nothing says workplace bonding like scaring your socks off at a play! We went to see 2:22 A Ghost Story, a thrilling play written by creator of The Battersea Poltergeist podcast, Danny Robins, and directed by Olivier Award-nominated Matthew Dunster.

With a play that has been nominated for and won as many theatre awards as this one — 2:22 A Ghost Story has won the Best New Play, Best Performer in a Female Identifying Role in a Play, and Best Performer in a Male Identifying Role in a Play at the WhatsOnStage Awards in 2022, plus it’s been nominated for an Olivier Award — expectations were high. Luckily, the on-the-edge-of-your-seat production didn’t disappoint.

The thrilling tale follows a young couple, Jenny and Sam, over two nights in their new home. At exactly 2:22am, Jenny hears the sound of someone moving around the house – in particular, crying and footsteps coming from her daughter Phoebe’s bedroom. She (naturally) begins to believe her house is haunted.

Her partner, Sam, on the other hand, fresh from his work trip away, is more of a cynic. He believes that everything has a logical explanation (you know the type). So when their friends Lauren and Ben — Lauren being Sam’s university pal, and Ben being Lauren’s new partner — come over for dinner, Jenny convinces them to stay up until 2:22am in the morning to hear the ghostly happenings.

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The ending is a brilliant plot twist that none of us saw coming. Our lips are sealed, though, as to what it is…

You might have seen the news that Cheryl, of Girls Aloud fame, took over the role of Jenny from Giovanna Fletcher. As it was Cheryl’s West End debut, we entered the play sceptical of her performance. After all, some people train their whole lives to perform on the West End. However, Cheryl was fantastic! She was completely believable as a terrified mum, wanting to protect her daughter from the supernatural, and we were totally on her side throughout the play.

Louise Ford (Lauren) and Scott Karim (Sam) were equally as brilliant, but our favourite performance of the night came from Jake Wood, of EastEnders’ Max Branning fame, as Ben. Wood was laugh-out-loud hilarious and his character had real personality; we can see why Wood won the Best Supporting Actor Award at last year’s WhatsOnStage Awards.

The RadioTimes.com team believe the play is a must-see, and to find out if this chilling thriller is your cup of tea, here’s some more information.

For more West End performances, take a look at the best London theatre shows. Plus, here's how to get cheap theatre tickets.

Is 2:22 A Ghost Story scary?

lyric theatre 222 a ghost story review
The inside of the West End's Lyric Theatre

“There’s something in our house. I hear it every night at the same time!” screams Jenny to her partner Sam.

2:22 A Ghost Story is a play centred around the supernatural. Jenny believes her house is haunted, and the production’s storyline focuses on her trying to convince her partner and friends to stay awake until 2:22am to hear the hauntings. Other ghostly stories are shared amongst the foursome, including Ben’s childhood experiences with ghosts and séances.

As well as the spooky content, there are a few jump scares in the play – namely screeching fox sound effects and a high-pitched scream to signal the clocks moving forward.

One of our RadioTimes.com writers saw a performance of The Woman in Black, and 2:22 A Ghost Story isn’t as tense or as frightening as that (the Woman in Black character made them scared to make a trip to the theatre toilets after!), however it does have more jump scares with the loud noises.

Are you intrigued by things that go bump in the night? Then take a look at the best Edinburgh ghost tours, best ghost tours in York, top UK murder mystery experiences, and the best London escape rooms.

Who is in 2:22 A Ghost Story?

222 a ghost story cast
Lyric Theatre

One of our favourite things about the 2:22 A Ghost Story production is its ever-changing cast. The original cast starred Lily Allen as Jenny, Julia Chan as Lauren, Hadley Fraser as Sam, and Jake Wood as Ben. The cast was then rotated, and it became Giovanna Fletcher as Jenny, Stephanie Beatriz as Lauren, Elliot Cowan as Sam, and James Buckley as Ben.

Mandip Gill then took over the role of Jenny, Beatriz Romilly took on Lauren, Harry Potter star Tom Felton became Sam, and Sam Swainsbury was Ben. Performing at The Criterion Theatre was Laura Whitmore as Jenny, Tamsin Carroll as Lauren, Felix Scott as Sam, and Matt Willis as Ben.

The current 2:22 A Ghost Story cast will be performing until Sunday 23rd April 2023, and their replacements were announced this morning (Thursday 13th April). From Sunday 14th May this year, Jaime Winstone, Sophia Bush, Ricky Champ and Clifford Samuel will lead the 2:22 A Ghost Story cast.

The fresh cast also comes with a change of theatre: the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. Luckily for us theatregoers, it’s right next door to 2:22 A Ghost Story’s current home.

For more information about this announcement, take a look at our A Ghost Story cast news update.

Where is 2:22 A Ghost Story performed?

Following three record-breaking seasons at the Noël Coward Theatre, Gielgud Theatre and the Criterion Theatre, 2:22 A Ghost Story is currently being performed at The Lyric Theatre.

The Lyric Theatre is located in London’s West End. It’s next door to the Apollo Theatre, and its nearest underground station is Piccadilly Circus.

How to book tickets to 2:22 A Ghost Story

Tickets for 2:22 A Ghost Story are on sale right now for its current cast (Cheryl, Louise Ford, Scott Karim, and Jake Wood) at London Theatre. Tickets start from £25.

2:22 A Ghost Story is also going on tour around the UK, and you can snap up tickets for Milton Keynes, Brighton, Glasgow, Birmingham, Richmond, Woking, and York theatres right now at ATG Tickets. Tickets start from just £13.

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If you enjoyed this review, be sure to read our BBC Earth Experience review and The Cauldron review. Stay up to date with our Going Out section for more news, ticketing releases, and guides.

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