A short while ago, I raved about the stage adaptation of The Woman In Black. With a cast of two, a minimal set and a box of props, it has succeeded in creating a Gothic horror atmosphere of epic proportions, thrilling audiences for three decades.

Anyone who saw it at the Hall For Cornwall would surely have been in the queue for tickets to its modern-day equivalent: West End box office smash 2:22 – A Ghost Story.

Author Danny Robins is well known for his paranormal-themed content, including BBC Radio 4’s Uncanny, in which he hears ordinary people’s tales of spiritual encounters. 2:22 is the theatrical interpretation of this concept.

A middle-class dinner party takes a strange turn when one of the hosts reveals she has seen a ghost in the house several nights running – and always at the titular hour. As the tension builds, we gain an insight into the characters’ lives: a seething mass of relationship woes, long-harboured resentments and class snobbery. Think MR James meets Abigail’s Party.

The show has become known for its rotating cast of soap stars and left-field choices such as singers Lily Allen and Cheryl.

Treading the boards in Truro are Emmerdale’s Fiona Wade as fragile new mum Jenny, Casualty’s George Rainsford as her know-all husband Sam, Hollyoaks’ Vera Chok as Sam’s old uni friend (and flame?) Lauren, and singer/Strictly champion Jay McGuiness as Lauren’s builder boyfriend Ben (who handled the transition from comedy to tragedy most excellently).

That’s double the cast of The Woman in Black, and while not quite as spartan, the single set of an open-plan kitchen/living space keeps things tight. Above the front door, a digital clock ticks ominously. What exactly will happen at 2:22?

It was a slow start. The dinner-party was authentic in that everyone spoke over each other, but this wasn’t ideal for the theatre – we especially struggled to hear Chok at times.

And I know jump-scares are part of the territory with ghost stories, but the blood-curdling screams really got on my nerves and weren’t exactly relevant to the plot. However, the frisson in the auditorium suggested it was just me (to be fair, I did have a rotten headache). 

There is less action and more talking in this show. Do ghosts exist? Fear and experience go into the ring against science and cynicism, and this philosophical debate will linger long you’ve left the theatre.

The age rating is 12+, but I’m not sure I would have taken my teenage daughter – I suspect no jump-scare in the world would have made it worth listening to four adults wanging on about grown-up stuff.

But this adult audience was on its feet by the end, and there’s no greater recommendation that that.