An Adventure is an epic love story across seven decades and three continents…
… telling the story of headstrong Jyoti and fumbling Rasik as they go from post-Partition India, through the forests of Mau Mau Kenya, into the industrial upheaval of 1970s London and finally the present day.
‘An Adventure‘ basically asks, what happens when romanticism comes face to face with cold hard reality, or in other words, when you look back at the story of your time together, was it all worth it?
Vinay Patel has taken time to write a truly engrossing piece but for all the merits I will look at, it still felt like there was an off-beat somewhere.
The play is beautifully written. The characters literally jolt with life from the page and the cast fully and entirely rise to the challenges of their parts admirably. Martins Imhangbe (David) and Shubham Saraf (Rasik) are both gloriously technicolor and naturally excellent fits for their characters providing a fantastic contrast to Anjana Vasan who shines as the younger Jyoti. I also loved watching the fantastic range portrayed by Aysha Kala who plays a teenager growing up before our very eyes.
The direction is beautifully poignant. I especially found the scene changes really moving as they told stories in their own right, allowing the action to continue moving forward through time and still giving us a sense of how the relationships between the characters were developing.
The lighting, sound, and movement were vital parts of the storytelling as well, taking us from an Indian coast ocean to the fields of a Kenyan farm with minimal work. I really applaud Madani Younis for the incredible execution of this piece.
But, for all its wonders, and ability to keep us hooked for three hours with two intervals (not an easy feat), I felt like the last third of An Adventure was, to an extent, trying to resolve certain aspects that I would have liked to see left as a question. When the older Jyoti and Rasik really stop to ask if they are happy with their lives, as much as I loved the imagery that went with remembering the past we just watched lived out, there was too much romanticisation for me.
I also felt that TV might be a better medium for this decades-spanning epic love story. I like resolution in TV. Especially when you know there is no second season to tell you more. To me, it is not as necessary in theatre. I felt like I binge watched a mini-series with this play and that left me almost void of feeling at the end of the show; a stark contrast to how I felt at each interval, where I wanted more and was more than ready for the next segment of the story to continue.
However, it is wonderful to see a story that is simple, beautiful and delivers an amazing perspective of what life, for the same people, can be like in different countries, and how that inevitably, changes the people, for better and worse.
It could almost be renamed “A cultural and geographic socio-political experiment“; but I feel “An Adventure” has a better ring to it.
Writer: Vinay Patel
Director(s): Madani Younis | Omar Elerian
Cast: Selva Rasalingam, Nila Aalia, Martins Imhangbe, Aysha Kala, Shubham Saraf, Anjana Vasan
Location: Bush Theatre
Runtime: until October 20th, 2018
Find out more and book tickets here.