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Ian Hallard
Jermyn Street Theatre

Ian Hallard as Richard and Sara Crowe as Ros Credit: Jermyn Street Theatre
Sara Crowe as Ros Credit: Jermyn Street Theatre
Ian Hallard as Richard Credit: Jermyn Street Theatre
Katherine Jakeways as Lois Credit: Jermyn Street Theatre
Sara Crowe as Ros and Ian Hallard as Richard Credit: Jermyn Street Theatre

Have you ever used a dating agency? Ever been on a blind date? Have you had one online during lockdown? If you have, you will be able to judge just how accurately this first play by actor Ian Hallard captures the experience.

Adventurous presents us with rather reserved Ros who has spent most of her life looking after her newly deceased disabled sister. Though she thinks shy might describe her, she has chosen “adventurous” as her one-word self-description on the Made in Heaven dating site and now she’s on Zoom with Richard, who calls himself “sensitive” and whose photo had nice eyes.

You’ve probably watched quite a few plays and readings done on Zoom with the actors each in their own home, some, like this one, specially written as happening online. Adventurous turns the situation to its advantage. Director Khadifa Wong keeps it very simple and gets wonderfully fresh performances from Hallard as history teacher Richard, whose wife now lives with the plumber who came to fix a leak in the kitchen, and Sara Crowe as Ros.

They capture precisely that mixture of hesitancy and intrigue and a touch of suspicion when first making contact in April, not long after the beginning of lockdown, and draw closer together as they continue their electronic meetings with an actual live one (obeying all the rules of course) during period when restaurants were allowed to open. Their relationship isn’t all plain sailing. There are disconcerting discoveries and unsettling developments, including the involvement of Richard’s wife Lois (Katherine Jakeways).

Often touching, though never sentimental, and frequently funny, Adventurous lasts just over an hour. It kept me smiling and left me wishing for more. It’s a little gem.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton