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Theatre Review: 2:22 ****

Michael Cox reviews a tour of a production that 'delightfully manages to thrill and entertain'.

2:22 is a rather effective chiller, a theatrical thrill ride that manages to raise an impressive amount of tension in its taut two-hour run time.

As with many such stories, the less one knows about the experience the better. So, for those simply wanting to know if the journey is worth taking, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’: it delightfully manages to thrill and entertain.

To those wanting a bit more context, the story follows the events of one evening. Couple Sam (Nathaniel Curtis) and Jenny (Louisa Lytton) have recently moved into a flat with their newborn child. Lauren (Charlene Boyd) has come to dinner with her new partner, Ben (Joe Absolom), to visit and see the new place. Small talk ensues, but it becomes apparent that Jenny is on edge. She has spent the last few nights alone due to Sam being away on business, and she is convinced that something is not right: the last few nights at precisely 2:22am, a presence has made itself known. Sam is convinced it’s nothing, but Lauren and Ben are intrigued, and the four agree to a vigil to see if something will again happen.

Writer Danny Robins barely puts a foot wrong with his script. The play covers an impressive amount of plot within the confines of the story and manages to spin a good yarn that holds up to scrutiny after everything is revealed. The characters are likeable, and the banter between the four is believable.

Directors Matthew Dunster and Isabel Marr have created a fun evening that is perfectly paced. A reoccurring jump scare is cheating a bit, but the production overall manages to be engaging and has a sense of approaching dread—all helped with strategically placed clocks that inform the audience of the approaching time.

Perhaps 2:22 isn’t the most original production, but it does everything right and works extremely well. The cast are uniformly great, and it’s hard not to worry yet be morbidly curious about what will happen when 2:22 comes.

2:22 is at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre until September 30, 2023 before continuing its UK tour.

Tags: theatre

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