Exclusive interview with the cast of 2:22 A Ghost Story at Richmond Theatre

By Heather Nicholls

26th Feb 2024 | Local News

Exclusive Syndicated interview with the cast of 2:22 A Ghost Story at Richmond Theatre. (Photo Credit: Richmond Theatre).
Exclusive Syndicated interview with the cast of 2:22 A Ghost Story at Richmond Theatre. (Photo Credit: Richmond Theatre).

Read this article for an exclusive interview with two of the stars of 2:22 A Ghost Story, Jay McGuiness and Vera Chok, to discuss the show which will be playing at Richmond in March.

Q: Is there anything you're looking forward to about playing for a week in Richmond – and it being so close to London?

Vera: I'm so looking forward to sharing the show with people across the country, but specifically Richmond, because all of my London-based friends can come watch it and we can have a right old natter and walk along the river. And I mean, Richmond is so beautiful.

Jay: I feel like Richmond might be a little bit of a jewel in this tour, because not only will all the London friends and crew come along, I feel like that's when all the like, scary potential future bosses come like, leaders of other shows or theatres and stuff. I think they'll be at Richmond. And so there might be an element of like, oh, this is a big one. Let's really scare the crap out of them.

Vera: Richmond Theatre-goers I imagine are very sophisticated. So if we can get them jumping out of their chair, it's so satisfying.

Jay: Some of the jokes might land differently as well because the show discusses classism a lot as well as, you know, whether or not you believe in ghosts. Not only does it take a dig at Cockney geezers who think they're really hard, it also takes a dig at the very middle class and the very educated. I think that everyone gets poked fun at, and it puts a little spotlight on some of the classism across the UK. I think that a Richmond audience might enjoy it from a very specific point of view.

Vera: Especially because the play is set in Walthamstow, but we've got London-centric references. So that will land in an enjoyable way in Richmond.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your characters in 2:22, Ben and Lauren.

Jay: I play Ben, who is a Cockney builder and is the new lover of Lauren. I'm new to the group, very much a fish out of water among the highly educated, upper class hosts of the dinner party. Ben is a firm believer in the supernatural, and I think he's maybe uncomfortable about revealing that straight off because the house feels very, you know, non-believer at first from the husband's perspective.

Vera: Lauren is a hot mess. She comes across initially as this very loud, gregarious American, but you see that she's got a lot of depth. She works for the NHS and she really cares about mental health, and she is compassionate in her own way, but she's dealing with a lot of disappointment and loss in her life. And I do think that she feels like a failure, but she masks that all with being loud and drinking far too much.

Q: What can audiences expect when they come to see 2:22?

Jay: Audiences will believe at first that they're watching a frazzled mother hosting a dinner party. Very quickly, they will realize that she is convinced that the house is haunted, and at 2:22 every night, she's been hearing scary things while her husband has been away. During this dinner party, after everyone drinks far too much wine, they decide to stay up until 2:22 and there's a countdown as they're waiting to see if it really is true, or if it's her being a really tired mum who's not had very much sleep, has been alone, and is maybe just coming a little bit loose at the seams. During it all, the audience are sat on the edge of their seat waiting to see if…did that wine bottle move or who put that there, or where's this gone? Those really tense, gripping moments are then perfect primes for people to be terrified and scream in their seats - and then scream because the person next to them screamed. It's hilarious. It's a joy to be around. I've loved every minute of watching it and I can't wait to do it.

Vera: I would like to say that as well as it being a jump scare kind of horror, it's a social horror. There's such high stakes for this couple. Their lives are falling apart. Their baby's being threatened by a ghost. And what does that symbolize? You can talk about metaphors or whatever, but we are looking at four characters from very different walks of life, and you just don't know where their lives are going - so that's the horror in that element. Also, the clock is counting down and are we going to see a terrible ghost?

Q: Can you sum up 2:22 in 3 words?

Jay: Gripping. Thrilling, Thought-provoking.

Vera: I think it's smart. I think it's sexy. And I do think it's gripping.

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