They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but words can also paint vivid pictures. Sometimes though, the meaning behind the words can be much darker than one might think on first glance. Love Bomb are two such words.

“It is a fascinating term,” says playwright Meghan Gardiner.  “It sounds like the best thing ever until you realize what it really means.”

Used by law enforcement to describe the manipulation of another person through love and affection, the term “love bombing” is about as dark as it gets.

“When people are being forced at gun point or are being blackmailed it is really evident what is being done, but when love is being used to manipulate, people are making choices based on that manipulation,” says Gardiner.

Not a term Gardiner thought would be attributable to the police, she does recognize its impact. “It stuck with me and while the title sounds theatrical it is in reality very tragic,” she says.

Now getting the world-premiere treatment as the opener to the Firehall Art Centre’s new season that places an emphasis on women, Love Bomb is a rock concert within a play, all wrapped inside a mystery, and much like our interview last year, Gardiner isn’t giving up many details except to say it is “the same show, but tighter and better”.

“It is about the power of love, but not in the cliché sense,” says Gardiner. “It is about love being used as a tool and a weapon, and in that sense it is about the power of love.”

Love Bomb plays the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova St, Vancouver) September 26 – October 10. Visit for tickets and information.

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