THEATRE REVIEW: An Adventure at the Bush Theatre


WHERE?: Bush Theatre

WHEN?: 17/9, (press ticket) runs to 20/10/18

Author Vinay Patel is 1 of the first 2 writers of colour to contribute to Doctor Who in its 55-year history during the latest series which begins on Sunday nights on BBC1 next month.

  • Read on for reasons including how we were swept away by the scale of the ambition of the story and genuine warmth of the cast

We mention this because it is a sign, together with Doctor Who’s gender, that things are changing and voices that would have once struggled to be heard are finding it easier.

An Adventure is an epic tale spanning three acts, two intervals and a running time in excess of 3 hours.

It begins in 1954 in India where we meet our precocious heroine Jyoti (a headstrong and funny Anjana Vasan) who is choosing between 5 suitors.

We move to the slums of Kenya where her husband Rasik (an awkward Shubham Saraf) is attempting to build a new life for them, makes a friend but endangers them.

In the 2nd act we join the couple in London in the 60s and 70s where the pair raise their children, ponder the racism they encounter and are split by a difference of opinion about social responsibility.

In the final act we return with them to both India and Kenya in the present day to examine the choices they made, the ramifications they had, what a life of travel has meant and notions of home.

It is to Patel’s credit that this story inspired by his own family makes Jyoti’s flaws all too apparent and the central relationship works because we can understand both points of view.

Patel’s programme notes acknowledge his debt to director Madani Younis (who leaves his role as Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre to become Creative Director at the Southbank Centre).

The dialogue is whipcrack-smart, the plotting inventive and, despite being no fans of overlong theatre, we were swept away by the scale of the ambition of the story and genuine warmth of the cast. This was very much a story we found it easy to invest in and we wanted to see it to its end.

Patel’s is definitely a name to watch out for in the future and his Doctor Who episode is shaping up to be something extra special.

  • Picture via Facebook by Helen Murray courtesy the Bush Theatre. Tickets
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