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Nastazja Domaradzka

Review: YOUR EVER LOVING at Theatre N16

Your Ever Loving - Theatre N16 1974 London. Paul Hill gets arrested for The Guildford Pub bombing. Hill, Gerry Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson soon become known as The Guildford Four and are convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In Martin McNamara’s YOUR EVER LOVING, playing at THEATRE N16, directors Jamie Eastlake and Sarah Chapleo tell Paul Hill’s story, a story of a man who spent 15 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. And they do so in a harrowing and unapologetic way whilst asking questions about Britain’s past and present.

Young Paul Hill spent his time doing what any 21 year old would be doing; making love, listening to Lou Reed and smoking. But once he becomes a suspect, his youthfulness gets crushed. Stefan McCusker who plays Hill delivers a performance full of sensitive and understated moments, making his character and his journey heart-breaking to watch. He is joined on stage by only one other actor: James Elmes, who plays The Rest of The World. Switching between playing Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Saville or Roy Jenkins, Elmes not only hypnotizes with his presence and versatility but also creates a world full of lunacy; the world seen by Hill through the confinement of prison bars. Both of the actors also break the fourth wall and by interacting with the audiences execute the directors’ decision of telling Hill’s story, as opposed to recreating what happened. Interestingly enough this directorial choice results in the audience relating to what they see, for it makes us uncomfortable and questions our own political and historical awareness.

Political theatre at its best

Jamie Eastlake and Sarah Chapleo direct YOUR EVER LOVING with a strong sense of creativity and imagination. Whilst Felicity Reid’s simple set design; a brick wall and a colourful tent creates a sense of two worlds: the prison cell and the madness outside of it.

YOUR EVER LOVING is political theatre at its best. It will make you feel uncomfortable, it will make you question everything you have been taught at school and hopefully it will make you realise that things haven't really changed that much since pub owners used to put signs on their windows reading "NO IRISH. NO BLACKS. NO DOGS". An absolute must see!

YOUR EVER LOVING runs at Theatre N16 until the 5th of May.