Cheryl made her West End debut and the reviews are in… She’s the new Meryl Streep!

Erm, she got a standing ovation!?!?

Cheryl made her much anticipated debut on the West End over the weekend in the first previews for her turn as Jenny in 2:22, and against all odds and expectations she finished the show to acclaim and a standing ovation.

When it was announced that Cheryl would be taking over the role of Jenny, it was meme central. It was the kind of news that felt like a stan joke in the queer pop music discourse circle on Twitter, even though that particular role is now synonymously associated with non-actors after Lily Allen debuted it and Giovanna Fletcher and Laura Whitmore took the Jenny reigns after. Actual actress Mandip Gill has played Jenny too, but she’s an anomaly in the non-actress Jenny sphere.

But Cheryl’s casting was no meme – even though it inspired many edits and reactions of who might play the mythical Jenny once Cheryl’s run ends. Anticipation was high to see how she’d fare, and over the weekend the first previews for her debut in the spooky play began. And, guys? She’s amazing. She’s the British Meryl Streep!

The Daily Mail gave Cheryl three stars, and said if this is the start of her acting journey it’s a good one. “The curtain comes down and the standing ovation feels inevitable (these are Chezza’s people, remember) although not entirely undeserved.

The consensus among the mostly female audience is that she did them proud… and they are desperate to know where that lovely maxi dress came from. Suffice to say Olivia Colman and Jodie Comer won’t be feeling threatened but if Cheryl intends to launch an acting career then this is not a bad start.”

Social media was also keen in praising Cheryl for her West End debut in 2:22, with audiences calling her “phenomenal” and “incredible”. One said “Fair play to Cheryl, she more than held her own” and another said “No stutters or stumbles, all the jokes landed, she delivered with oomph and punch.”

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Featured image credit via @BellasNumptyx and @ChimOnTheMetro