FOR actor Esh Alladi appearing in the season opener at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre is more than living up to its name.

An Adventure is an epic tale following a couple on their journey through life together over 60 years from an arranged introduction in India to the turbulent world of 1950s Kenya and then to a new life in England.

“It’s a really amazing play,” said Esh who plays Rasik. “It manages to put together the epic and the intimate on stage. There are massive global events and the highly personal things that shape and affect the two main characters and their life together.

“It’s the story of a marriage and the love that should have happened, could have happened and did happen. Much as people love politics and it is really interesting in this play, ultimately it is about this relationship between Rasik and Jyoti which is something which will resonate with people.”

Esh expects audiences to be surprised by An Adventure - a bold choice to get the first new season underway following the Octagon’s multi-million pound redevelopment.

“There is so much humour even in the darkest of situations,” said Esh. “That was one of the things that attracted me to the play. It’s funny from the off and that immediately wins you over.

“When you first meet Rasik you see this rather lowly person who doesn’t appear to have too much to recommend him to Jyoti but he does offer her adventure and romance.”

The play follows the couple’s relationship played out against the politics of the time.

“I must say I have learned a lot I didn’t know through the play,” said Esh. “I didn’t really know anything about the problems Asians faced in Kenya nor did I appreciate the role that black and Asian women played in the strikes in Britain in the Sixties.

“I think audiences will take a lot from it they didn’t know but it’s the couple’s relationship which is really powerful. By following them for more than 60 years you see the choices they make and the impact that has and I think that’s something we all wonder about, that Sliding Doors thing where you wonder how things might have turned out differently had you made a different choice.”

Esh - who starred in Hobson’s Choice at Manchester’s Royal Exchange is 2019 - is performing at the Octagon for the first time even though he is on the theatre’s board of trustees.

“I love this theatre and I’ve seen a number of productions here but never been on stage before,” he said. “It’s so exciting to be part of the new season following all the changes which are just fantastic.

“The refurbishment has meant that the theatre space is even more flexible so that more clever and wonderful things can happen.”

Like many actors Esh is also delighted to just be back on stage again after so long but the past couple of years have seen him work harder than he ever has.

“I spent most of the last two years working in the A&E department at the North Manchester Hospital,” he said. “I trained as a doctor and I have always kept that up. I have a temp agency to find me shifts when I’m not acting so when the pandemic struck I was able to go where I was needed.

“I have made some of the best friends of my life at the hospital. Everyone there is incredible; their commitment and stamina is astonishing.”

A&E is also a great way to observe characters close to.

“When you working A&E you know you will see things you don’t expect,” said Esh. “You get people who just walk through the door and you know that you will never see their like again.”

Back to the stage an An Adventure is a dream role for an actor.

“To play someone throughout their lifetime is such a rare opportunity,” said Esh. “You do feel a sense of care for this person you are portraying and wanting to tell their story as best you can.”

An Adventure, Octagon, Bolton, until Saturday, February 26. Details from