Lily Allen to make West End debut this summer

Supernatural thriller 2:22 – A Ghost Story will open in August.

Lily Allen
Lily Allen

Lily Allen will make her West End debut this summer in a new play by Danny Robins at the Noel Coward Theatre.

The chart-topping singer, 36, will play the character Jenny in 2:22 – A Ghost Story, a supernatural thriller about four friends caught up in a night of high tension.

She will be joined on stage by EastEnders star Jake Wood, City Of Angels actor Hadley Fraser and Julia Chan of Silent House.

(Matthew Murphy/PA)

The play follows Jenny, who believes her new home is haunted but her husband Sam (Fraser) remains sceptical.

They argue with their first dinner guests, old friend Lauren (Chan) and new partner Ben (Wood) and decide to stay awake until 2.22am to discover the truth.

Scriptwriter Robins is best known for his docudrama horror podcast The Battersea Poltergeist, starring Dafne Keen and Toby Jones, which is being made into a TV series.

The new play is his debut in the West End.

Olivier Award-nominated director Matthew Dunster will helm the project, after garnering acclaim for his work on Sam Shepard’s True West and two Martin McDonagh plays.

Jake Wood (Matthew Murphy/PA)

Allen, who married actor David Harbour in September 2020, said: “I am so excited about getting to work on this play. The live performance aspect of my career has always been the most thrilling part for me, connecting with a group of individuals and the spontaneity of whatever happens on the night.

“I feel that stepping into this play is an exciting natural extension of that and affords me the best of all worlds.

“I get to explore mature subject matter, be a woman with a real point of view and show the West End audiences how much I love live performance and being in front of an audience. I can’t wait.

“Danny’s play is a brilliant investigation into the ghosts that haunt us and the hows and whys they come to be.

“It’s everything I love; wit, a meditation on marriage and relationships and family all hinging on a frightening plot.

Hadley Fraser, Lily Allen, Julia Chan and Jake Wood (Olaf Heine/Matthew/Murphy/Simon Turtle/PA)

“Matthew is an amazing director who has worked with some of the coolest material theatre has to offer. I’m a fan of what he does, and so honoured that he asked me to come on board.”

Dunster said: “I’m so excited to be directing this play. A unique combination of horror and social commentary.

“Danny has really come up with something special and scary for audiences to experience together as they return to the theatre.

“Myself and designer Anna Fleischle like creating an atmosphere of suspense, just as we did together on Hangmen and A Very Very Very Dark Matter.

“And this is Lily’s stage debut, and I feel really privileged and excited to be guiding that.

“Lastly, I’ve always wanted to direct something that means at the end you ask punters and press not to spoil it for those who’ll come later. There’s a real surprise waiting for audiences.”

Robins said: “I’m thrilled to be making my West End debut with this jaw-dropping cast and Matthew, one of the most exciting directors in British theatre.

“Anyone who’s heard The Battersea Poltergeist will know my fascination with the question ‘Do ghosts exist?’, so 2:22 has been a labour of love, exploring the clash between belief and scepticism through a couple’s relationship. And of course it’s bloody scary!”

The play will feature set design by Fleischle, costume design by Cindy Lin, casting by Jessica Ronane and illusions by Chris Fisher.

It opens on August 3 with a press night on August 11. Tickets are on sale from 9am on June 10.

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