Sunday, October 2

An Adventure – Octagon Theatre

It’s not very often you’re treated to a play with 3 acts and that is exactly what An Adventure is. A three-act play, set in three countries over the space of three hours.

First performed in London in 2018, this performance is its northern premiere. The story mirrors a lot of families who immigrated from India to the UK in the 1950s and 1960s.

The production begins in 1954, not long after India and Pakistan split to become two separate countries. It follows the story of Jyoti (Saba Shiraz) and Rasik (Esh Alladi). It starts off as a sweet love story with political undertones. The story was inspired by writer, Vinay Patel’s grandparents’ life.

From the moment Jyoti (Shiraz) steps on stage the audience are treated to a fierce, strong 16-year-old who is looking to find a husband. Rasik, played by Alladi, is one of her potential suitors, and the scene is equally comedic as it is realistic. Both characters are strong and want more than what society expects of them. As people they are almost like chalk and cheese, but it somehow works as there is a genuine chemistry between the pair and is a joy to watch from the beginning.

Director: Kash Arshad does a great job in capturing the era. Intertwining political themes with kitchen sink drama, it made it seem more real.

Photo: Pamela Raith

As with many shows at the Octagon the show is performed in the round. This can be tricky as blocking can be an issue. I wouldn’t say it was 100% perfect as I felt I missed some moments. As an audience member I don’t need to see everything but when an actor is doing something visual and their back is turned to me, I feel I’m not getting the same experience as everyone else is.

While in all this is a great story and one I enjoyed, I do have to say it was lengthy and probably could have been told in less time. I don’t think we needed to know every detail of the story and some of it could have been referred to instead of having everything played out before us.

Therefore, I would recommend that if this production was to return that some of the scenes be shaved down or even cut out. All the audience needs are the important pieces. Some of it can be interpreted through subtext.

Having said all that, it was great to watch and see the ‘Adventure’ this couple have been on. It’s a story that many can identify with, but you don’t see too often on stage.

Playing until 26th February, https://octagonbolton.co.uk/whats-on/theatre/an-adventure-1/

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 8th February 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★

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