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Contributor: Juwon Ogungbe

The last production for Carib Theatre company, Sitting in Limbo, by Dawn Penso and Judy Hepburn is a mixture of fact and fiction. Loosely based on the life of the wife of Granada?s finance minister in the days of Maurice Bishop, the play explores the blossoming friendship between the haughty Ministers wife and her jailer ? a woman of modest means and background.

Starting from a position of mutual distrust, the women bicker with each other, aiming to assume the higher status in their relationship. The Minister?s wife has been implicated the murder of the Prime Minister. She is initially condemned to death (much to the glee of her jailer) but the sentence is eventually changed to life imprisonment. The women discover each other?s weaknesses but instead of destroying each other, they opt for a mutually supportive interaction, which enables one of them (the jailer) to find self fulfilment.

The play could have benefited from a more subtle form of conflict. The characters seemed to be somewhat contrived in their initially entrenched, polarised positions. Some of the devices used to help the story along seemed to be superimposed, such as the limerick written by the politician?s wife about the jailer?s personal life. This unexplainable twist triggered off a momentous sequence of events.

Directed by Anton Phillips, the show was clear and engaging, but it had a few awkward moments which needed tightening. Lavern Archer inhabited the world of the play with deceptive ease as the God fearing, hard working, long suffering jailer. While Pauline Black was winsome in her high-handedness as the minister?s wife her sing song Jamaican accent was dodgy. The writers have produced a promising first work and the show is, on the whole, an affecting swan song for the Carib Theatre Company
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