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Dating during a global pandemic? That is something that quite a few of us have experienced over the last year. Ros and Richard are no exception to this. Looking for a relationship, they find themselves on an awkward Zoom date craving for a connection. Adventurous takes us along on a journey back to 2020 where virtual dating and sourdough bread were the heights of daily life.
Written by Ian Hallard and directed by Khadifa Wong, Adventurous offers a relatable and heartfelt storyline about dating in 2020. It slowly but surely makes us fall in love with Ros and Richard and their mundane lockdown struggles. Richard (Ian Hallard) is a secondary school teacher who has recently separated from his wife Lois (Katherine Jakeways). Ros (Sara Crowe) is quite the opposite – as her sister’s carer, she had never had the chance to work, engage in romance or focus on herself in that matter. Now that her sister has died and Richard’s wife has moved on, the two find themselves open to the idea of online dating. Over the course of one hour, we see their relationship flourish and witness Richard and Ros becoming friends – or is it perhaps even more than that? However, with friendship comes trust, and so, secrets come to light. And the two of them uncover more about each other than they originally bargained for. After all, those “are the kind of things you can’t express to anyone – has to be a stranger”.
Adventurous is a (mostly) light-hearted piece of lockdown theatre. It pleasantly depicts the experience that many of us have had during this time. It is told through the eyes of two quite ordinary human beings who are simply looking for someone to confide in and to find out what is important to them. Is it family, putting yourself first, or even becoming more adventurous?
However, the basic storyline leaves little room for excitement and so it does not surprise that the dramatic twist at the end fails to excite as much as it could. Hallard’s and Crowe’s sincere but emoted performances make us feel for the characters but not care enough to share the thrill when Richard’s life threatens to take a turn for the worse.
The highlight of the show has to be when Ros and Richard get to meet in person in July 2020. The encounter was filmed not over Zoom – like the rest of the play – but on location, which does awaken a sentimental longing for those mid-COVID times and creates a feeling of bliss that is shared with both Richard and Ros. Adventurous takes you right back to the summer of 2020 where you will accompany Richard and Ros on their dating adventure.
Adventurous is playing until 28 March 2021. For more information visit the Jermyn Street Theatre website.