Home » London Theatre Reviews » Sara Crowe and Ian Hallard in Adventurous | Review

Sara Crowe and Ian Hallard in Adventurous | Review

Richard (Ian Hallard) meets Ros (Sara Crowe) through an online dating service called Made in Heaven. I have no experience with such services, but I assume one or both of them swiped left or right (whichever means ‘yes please’ instead of ‘no thanks’). As the first of their meetings takes place in April 2020, there were the usual problems that some people unfamiliar with video conferencing had with being on mute and finding out what various functions do. Rather a lot of detail on both characters is revealed in the first scene, which considering it is an initial meeting seems somewhat contrived, but this is not particularly problematic: in the questions being asked and answered between them, the audience learns as much about them as they do about themselves.

Ian Hallard (Richard) and Sara Crowe (Ros) in Adventurous, directed by Khadifa Wong.
Ian Hallard (Richard) and Sara Crowe (Ros) in Adventurous, directed by Khadifa Wong.

I found it difficult to believe Richard is a secondary school history teacher – he seems so unwilling to rock the boat or put his foot down that I wonder how authoritative he would be in a classroom full of rambunctious teenagers. His home life is chaotic, not least because he is recently separated, and Ros’ is less, ahem, adventurous, at least at first, thanks to decades of being a carer for her now late sister. Richard’s wife, Lois (Katherine Jakeways) has decided to live with a plumber called (apparently) Daarryll (“two As, two Rs, two Ls”).

This light-hearted comedy isn’t, truth be told, for everyone, but it has some striking scenes in amongst all the polite conversations – an online chat between Ros and Lois, for instance, gives the third character an opportunity to state how things are from their perspective, an element lacking from the many lockdown monologues and duologues. There isn’t, at the risk of giving slightly too much away, a fairy-tale ending, which is fair enough – Richard possesses ambassador-level diplomacy, against Ros’ refreshing but nonetheless abrupt manner, which makes good theatre but a long-term relationship, on balance, wouldn’t have worked out very well.

A meal that took place in between the lockdowns provides a change of scene from all the living room webcam shots. As befits the setting of two people having periodic catchups, the dialogue veers from topic to topic, talking about Ed Sheeran one moment and the Prime Minister the next. It is, frankly, extraordinary how the power of technology has been harnessed to bring people together at a time when by government decrees (both here and overseas) people are obliged to socially distance. Adventurous has a degree of poignancy but it mostly had me in stitches. An hour (and a bit) of fascinating and amusing drama.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Ros is looking for romance. Richard needs a new companion. They’re a match! But the year is 2020, and dating isn’t simple. From glitchy Zoom introductions to their socially distanced first date in an actual restaurant, Adventurous follows the twists and turns of Ros and Richard’s relationship as they negotiate technology, treachery… and tortoises.

Filmed in lockdown, this is the premiere of actor Ian Hallard’s debut play. Both comic and touching, Adventurous tells the unexpected story of two single souls with an unstable connection. It reunites Hallard with Olivier Award-winner Sara Crowe following their many double-acts in Jermyn’s Street Theatre’s 2018 production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8.30. This online production is a heartwarming and hilarious treat.

Jermyn Street Theatre
Written by Ian Hallard
Directed by Khadifa Wong
16th to 28th March

Performances 15:00, 19:30, and 21:00 as well as times
suitable for international streaming


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