Review: An Adventure, Bush Theatre

Vinay Patel’s An Adventure is a long night at the Bush Theatre and an ambitious one

“Home is where you fight to be”

Vinay Patel’s An Adventure certainly doesn’t lack for ambition, taking inspiration from his own family – specifically his grandparents – and constructing his own historical romance tale, folding in racism, political upheaval of differing hues and the enduring legacy of colonialism.

From India to Kenya to Britain, from the 1950s to the 1970s to the modern day, Patel traces the love story between Jyoti and Rasik, the young man she chooses from the five selected by her father. They’re both dreamers and soon find themselves swept up in the Kenyan independence movement in Nairobi and union marches in London, even as their relationship suffers. 

Madani Younis’ production is highly atmospheric and it needs to be, with the play running at over well over three hours. It doesn’t quite justify the running time but this space does allow for beautifully mood-dominated sequences to flourish under the gorgeously bright colours of Sally Ferguson’s lighting.

The result is something beguiling as Rosanna Vize’s minimalist design opens out the space of the Bush to embrace this little-known history as well evoke strong moods. Anjana Vasan and Shubnam Saraf excel as the leads and they’re missed when the couple finally age up, and there’s also powerful work from Martins Imhangbe.

Running time: 3 hours 20 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Helen Murray
An Adventure is booking at the Bush Theatre until 20th October

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