2:22 – A Ghost Story: first images of Cheryl in rehearsals for her West End debut

 (Helen Murray )
(Helen Murray )

The first images of Girls Aloud star Cheryl in rehearsal for her West End acting debut in 2:22 – A Ghost Story have been released.

In December, the singer and former TV talent show judge was announced in the fifth cast for the hit supernatural play, following Lily Allen and Laura Whitmore in the role of Jenny.

Cheryl, who has dropped her previous surnames of Tweedy, Cole and Fernandez-Versini, is pictured preparing for the role alongside co-stars Hugo Chegwin, Louise Ford and Scott Karim ahead of previews, which start this weekend. There is a gala performance on February 1 and this cast will perform until April 23.

Cheryl rose to fame in Girls Aloud, which she followed up with a solo career, releasing four albums. Collectively as a solo artist and in Girls Aloud, five of her singles reached number one in the UK.

Hugo Chegwin and Cheryl in rehearsals (Helen Murray)
Hugo Chegwin and Cheryl in rehearsals (Helen Murray)

She became a judge on TV talent shows The X Factor on ITV in 2008 and then on BBC’s The Greatest Dancer. Announcing her role in 2:22 on Instagram, she wrote, ‘“I went to see the show with a previous cast and LOVED IT! It is a totally new and exciting experience for me so if you’re looking for a fun night out & some entertainment in your new year tickets are available now.”

In 2:22, Jenny believes her new home is haunted but her husband Sam rubbishes the idea, and they argue over the subject with dinner guests Lauren and Ben. While belief and scepticism clash, something doesn’t feel right, so they decide to stay up until 2.22am to see what happens.

The thriller, written by Danny Robins – creator of the hit BBC podcast The Battersea Poltergeist – started at the Noel Coward Theatre in the summer of 2021, with an opening cast of, Julia Chan, Hadley Fraser and Jake Wood.

The play has since transferred to the Lyric theatre, its biggest venue so far, after last year winning best new play at the Whatsonstage awards and being nominated for an Olivier.

Cheryl’s co-star Chegwin is one of the creators of BAFTA winning series People Just Do Nothing about a pirate radio station, broadcast on the BBC, and The Curse on Channel 4.

Cheryl and Scott Karim (Hugo Chegwin and Cheryl)
Cheryl and Scott Karim (Hugo Chegwin and Cheryl)

Ford plays Kate Middleton in Channel 4 comedy The Windsors, and has also appeared in Crashing, written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Horrible Histories and Misfits. She starred in Laura Wade’s comic stage exploration of Jane Austen at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, and when it transferred to London’s Menier Chocolate Factory in 2019.

Karim was in Chasing Hares at the Young Vic and The Arrival at the Bush Theatre, and has appeared in Dara, Great Britain and Othello at the National Theatre.

The Evening Standard’s review of 2:22 hailed Allen’s performance as a “spellbinding stage debut” in a “clever, remorselessly effective supernatural thriller”.

2:22 - A Ghost Story reopens at the Lyric Theatre on January 21; buy tickets here