2:22 Ghost Story: Giovanna Fletcher, James Buckley and Stephanie Beatriz star in new supernatural thriller | Ents & Arts News

A middle man, a Brooklyn sleuth, an esteemed TV actor, and the former Queen of Castle I’m A Celeb all walk into a theater.

But there’s no punchline – instead, we get a critically acclaimed supernatural thriller that will scare audiences around Christmas time.

London’s Gielgud Theater is home to a second series of 2:22 A Ghost Story by Danny Robins, starring James Buckley (better known as Jay from The Inbetweeners), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Rosa Diaz), Giovanna Fletcher ( podcast and bestselling author) and Elliot Cowan (from the Cilla Foundation and Apple TV +).

Giovanna Fletcher and Elliot Cowan play a married couple in 2:22 A Ghost Story. Photo: Hélène Murray

This unlikely, but fiercely talented ensemble all cite the same reason for wanting to take the stage and perform – the writing.

“He’s a page turner,” Cowan explained of the play.

“I went through it twice in about two hours in preparation… and at that point I was hooked. I knew I wanted to do it.

This is a point of view echoed by Fletcher, who told Sky News: “I just read it and I was like, ‘I have to do this.’

Beatriz, who has had a busy year after appearing in In The Heights, voicing a new Disney character in Encanto and bidding farewell to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, also praises the story, telling Sky News: “It’s beautiful, it’s funny – it’s like something I’ve never done before.

“I was scared of myself reading it… it’s a good ****** script.”

The story in question sees Jenny and Sam (Fletcher and Cowan) move into a new home – but at exactly 2:22 each night Jenny hears some unusual noises. Determined to prove it’s a natural occurrence, Sam invites her friends Lauren and boyfriend Ben (Beatriz and Buckley) to stay with them until 2:22 a.m. to see what happens.

Stephanie Beatriz, James Buckley and Elliot Cowan in 2:22 A Ghost Story.  Photo: Hélène Murray
The play sees a group of people waiting until 2:22 a.m. to figure out what is going on that night. Photo: Hélène Murray

Beatriz and Buckley come from hugely popular shows – and they hope fans enjoy their new roles

It’s been eight years since we’ve seen Buckley’s Jay in The Inbetweeners (and no, there’s no more planned), but the character is still well-loved in the 2020s, thanks to streaming services and the enduring popularity of the series.

Meanwhile, Beatriz stepped down as gruff-voiced, unadorned detective Rosa Diaz earlier this year, when Brooklyn Nine-Nine came to an end – a show that has been critically acclaimed for years.

Beatriz explains, “The thing about loving a series is that if you really like a series you usually consume all the seasons you can and so after a while you’ve known a character for years.

“And so sometimes it can be quite shocking to meet the actor playing this character in real life, and he doesn’t really look like the character you’ve built in your brain.

“I think in that way I’m delighted that people who know about our collective work from other places come to see us in this play because I think the characters we play in this play are very different from the people the audience does. might know us. “

For Buckley, he doesn’t think his new role on stage will change the way fans see him, saying “I always think people are up for anything,” but understands the appeal of The Inbetweeners.

“Jay’s character … is super popular, which is absolutely amazing and people really enjoyed it when I did that, I loved doing it too … if people see me as that character, I I don’t really have a big problem with that, ”he said.

Elliot Cowan, Stephanie Beatriz and James Buckley in 2:22 A Ghost Story.  Photo: Hélène Murray
The show runs until February. Photo: Hélène Murray

“It’s so good to be back” on stage

It’s hard to talk about theater and not mention COVID, but as the industry heads into its busiest time amid a renewed threat of restrictions, actors say it’s so good to come back ( safely) on stage.

Cowan said: “The last time I was on stage two years ago … I didn’t know at the time that it would be my last time in a while. It’s so good to be back. . “

“It made the audience more responsive,” Fletcher adds, saying, “I think everyone is so invested in being in the theater… the reaction is stronger than ever.”

Cowan also says that while masks (which are now required to be worn by law in theaters) are a “hot inconvenience,” it’s the compromise required to keep shows on stage.

“It’s not judgmental anyway… it’s going to close if people are let go about it.”

Giovanna Fletcher, James Buckley and Stephanie Beatriz in 2:22 A Ghost Story.  Photo: Hélène Murray
Giovanna Fletcher, James Buckley and Stephanie Beatriz in 2:22 A Ghost Story. Photo: Hélène Murray

Buckley says it’s a “relief” for the audience to come and enjoy the show – calling it “just what the doctor ordered.”

“It all adds up to the whole experience and if you come to see the show you will enjoy it, you will have fun – and for now, we are allowed to do it again. I hope that will continue.”

2:22 A Ghost Story is taking place at the Gielgud Theater in London until February 12.

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