The advance press for Meghan Gardiner’s new play Love Bomb is purposely enigmatic.
The play is a bit of a mystery,” confesses playwright Gardiner. “It takes place in a coffee house on the night of a sound check for an upcoming concert. The mystery unfolds as she hears the lyrics that are played. It is essentially about a mother’s love and her search for her daughter and shows how a mother’s love never ends.”
The latest commission from Vancouver’s Shameless Hussy Productions, Love Bomb was written by Gardiner after being given a brief that included three specific elements.
“I call it the Iron Chef of playwrighting,” laughs Gardiner. “I think that is how I’m going to write from now on; using three or four stated ingredients means I have to be very specific and they set some really nice boundaries for my writing.”
For Love Bomb the elements requested were a play written for a female cast that contained music and explored a specific darker issue. That darker issue forms the basis of the mystery revealed in the play, a topic Gardiner says is familiar, but one most people are reluctant to talk about.
Despite not wanting to reveal too much of the Love Bomb plot, Gardiner does believe she comes with the necessary pedigree to tackle the play’s theme as the writer of the critically acclaimed one-woman show Dissolve, that garnered Emmellia Gordon a best actress award at this year’s Vancouver theatre awards.
“It is an issue that has been on the minds of the Shameless Hussies for years and they hadn’t found the right writer to address it on stage,” says Gardiner. “I do think Dissolve gave me a strong basis in which to tell this particular story.”
A play with music, Gardiner is working with Vancouver musician and composer Steve Charles and hopes Love Bomb is as much about the music for audiences as it is about the story.
“It is a play, but you’re also going to see a really great rock concert,” says Gardiner. “We needed not only a fantastic actor but one who could sing and play guitar too. We found her in Sarah Vickruck, who blew us all away.”
A two-hander, Love Bomb also features Shameless Hussy co-founder Deb Pickman, who is returning to the stage after a number of years absence.
With a previous reading in January, the plan is to take what they learn from this staged reading and develop the show further.
“I believe in giving my plays time to marinate,” says Gardiner. “I still think of myself new to all of this and sometimes it takes a while for things to fully develop. Both Steve and I have a busy year lined up, but the intent is to mount a full production sometime in 2015.”
Love Bomb plays Studio 1398 (1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island) on Friday, August 8 at 2pm & 8pm. Admission by donation. Visit http://shamelesshussy.com for more information.