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A Billion Times I Love You – Liverpool Everyman

Reviewer: Phil Goodwin

Writer: Patrick Maguire

Music: Crawlers

Director: Jessica Meade

We meet two enamoured young women at what looks like a moment of domestic bliss – drinking and dancing. A slight difference of opinion over the merits of partying on a school night reveals a fault line in the relationship. But it is the suggestion of infidelity that shakes the foundations, just hard enough for us to wonder. For the next hour we watch on as they examine what it means to be in love and what to do when you feel like it is slipping away.

Patrick Maguire’s fast-moving play is billed as a queer love story – this world premiere is supported by Homotopia, the LGBTQIA arts festival. But the tiny misunderstandings and power imbalances feel universal and will be familiar to any couple that have ever fallen out over cleaning protocols or duty rotas.

Melissa Lowe’s Taylor reaches for the simple solution: reignite the passion that brought them together, but it is clear that for Mary Higgins’ Jesse there are bigger questions. This may sound thoughtful, contemplative – but there is nothing static about the show.

Jessica Meade’s direction is dynamic – the actors in constant motion: prowling the Everyman’s thrust stage and constantly shifting the physical perspective with clever use of a simple set. Movement Director Grace Goulding has created some memorable sequences – a physical language of love, backed by Music from Crawlers, which serves as a counterpoint to the things the couple find hard to say.

A Billion Times I Love You is compelling, touching and familiar. Lowe and Higgins create a believably flawed yet caring couple who are trying to make sense of life and love. You can’t help but care about them and hope they can work things out.

Runs until 8 October 2022

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The Reviews Hub - North West

The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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