The pop princess turned TV judge made her highly anticipated West End debut tonight in one of the biggest plays of the past twelve months. Following in the footsteps of Lily Allen, who received an Olivier Award nomination for the same role, Cheryl took the stage at the Lyric Theater on Shatftsbury Avenue. Tonight was the first preview show and was due to start at 7:30pm, but at that point the audience was still outside due to unforeseen and thus far unexplained delays.
After delays of more than 30 minutes, the play finally went ahead, with Cheryl taking on the role of terrified suburban wife Jenny, who is convinced something supernatural is going on in their home.
It’s the first major professional theater role for the former Girls Aloud star. The play has been a great success with Allen followed by Giovanna Fletcher and Laura Whitmore in the title role.
So expectations (and doubts) have been very high. The official opening night for the public and critics is February 1, but the first reactions from fans tonight are encouraging.
Reactions included: “Fair play to Cheryl, she more than held her own on opening night of Ghost Story 2:22.”
Another said: “I honestly felt like I was living a fever dream watching a ghost story starring Cheryl in her West End debut. I honestly really enjoyed the show and our Chezza tore it apart and the whole cast is great! What a night!”.
An excited audience member said, “OMG. That was amazing. Cheryl, you were fabulous (so are all of you) We really enjoyed it.”
One fan added: “2:22 A Ghost Story was absolutely packed on opening night to see Cheryl. I had no expectations and she did a great job.”
The cast also includes Scott Karim as Sam, Louise Ford as Lauren, and Ben Cutler as Ben. The play is written by Danny Robins and directed by Matthew Dunster and tonight’s opening preview received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Cheryl has reportedly been lured to make her West End stage debut with a fee of £100,000 across the 106 shows. Apparently, she will also receive bonus payments if the show is over 80% full.
She said: “I’m SO excited to be starring in the West End thriller 2:2 A Ghost Story! I’ll be playing the role of Jenny from January to April! I went to see the show with a previous cast and I LOVED it… It’s a total experience new and exciting for me.”
The official synopsis for the play reads: “Jenny thinks her new home is haunted, but her husband Sam wants none of it. They argue with their first dinner guests, old friend Lauren and new partner Ben.
“Can the dead walk again? Belief and skepticism collide, but something feels strange and scary, and that something is coming, so they’ll stay up…until 2:22…and then they’ll know “.
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