7:45 pm, Tuesday 16 Oct. 2007
The Studio, York Theatre Royal
Limbo is a story about a teenage girl growing up and coming to terms with adulthood. The monologue is written by Declan Feenan. The character, Claire is played by Caroline Williamson. This is Real Circumstance Theatre Company’s first production in York Theatre Royal.
Being the only character in this one-hour-long play, Claire, a seventeen-year-old, speaks about her understanding of her own little world in a small Northern Irish town. She is searching for a state of inner peace through words, and at the same time she remains funny, without self-pity, and utterly alone. Surrounding her is an unusual yet unforgettable ambiance.
The title Limbo suggests a sense of oblique situation where Claire is in dramatically. Claire appears to be making a confession facing the audience. Yet, who is her listener, and is she really confessing? It all remains unclear about where she is. What is the noisy wind blowing in the background and how is she really feeling?
One of the main issues Claire talks about is her relationship with an older man. As addressed in Director’s Notes, the story is about ‘Claire’s horizons expanding and then, sadly, being snatched away.’ Dan Sherer, the director, not only explores the powerful dynamic of a young girl and an old man in the monologue, but through directing he presents a moment in Claire’s life interpreted by herself on a bleak stage.
A lot of emotion is interwoven within the words from this one speaker through her distinctive manner of expression, and there is scarcely any movement around the already small stage. She talks more about certain things than other matters, therefore creating a variety of tempo in her narration. For example, she is repetitive about her solitariness, which is one of the hints that Claire is struggling with justifying what happens in her life.
Claire may be unfortunately dominated by fate, yet it is Caroline Williamson, the actor, who is really in charge of the verbal moment of Claire’s life on the stage.