Back Back to Artword Productions 2000-2001

Jean and Dinah… are coming to town!
It's a Jamette Attack!

Trinidad's Lordstreet Theatre Company
in association with Artword Theatre

Jean and Dinah...
Who have been locked away in a world famous calypso since 1956 speak their minds publicly

Written by Tony Hall with Rhoma Spencer and Susan Sandiford
Starring Rhoma Spencer and Penelope Spencer

Preview: Tuesday July 24, 2001 at 8pm. Tickets $15
Opens Wed July 25 and runs to Sat July 28 at 8pm. Tickets $30.

Winner of Five Cacique Awards 1994: Best Play, Best Director, Best Music, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress

It is jouvay morning, the dawn of carnival morn, and Jean comes to take her friend Dinah to play mas as they usually do for the past forty years and more. However, this year Dinah is tired and ailing, she would not go. Jean tries to rally her into making their annual pilgrimage of the streets, as they play the perennial sailor mas. In the ensuing battle to get Dinah out of bed onto the streets of Port of Spain, both women discover things about themselves that shaped the outcome of their lives. But more than that, Dinah wants Jean to the reveal the part she played in her (Dinah) subsequent blindness. She wants Jean to accept responsibility of the steelband clash and the bottle-pelting incident that caused her blindness.

This tragicomedy is set in present Port of Spain Trinidad: Act one. In Act two, the characters take us some forty years back on the streets of Port of Spain. Jean and Dinah is loosely based on the calypso "Yankees Gone" also known as "Jean and Dinah" sung by the Mighty Sparrow in 1956. The young calypsonian propelled to stardom when he won the calypso competition that year with his selection. The song with its catchy chorus:

Jean and Dinah Rosita and Clementina
Round the corner posing, bet your life
Is something they selling
And if you catch them broken
You can get them all for nothing
Don't make a run, the Yankees gone
And Sparrow take over now.

According to Rhoma Spencer who created the role of Dinah,"the song was a male commentary on the Yankees influence over the local girls in post World War II Trinidad. Since 1956, the song has made an indelible stamp on the nationalist movement of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinbagonians had came to recognize the song as a commentary on prostitution, yet we never got a response from the women of this song. A male point of view was placed on the table and we came to revel and celebrate in its popularity". The play, "Jean and Dinah…Who Has Been Locked Away In A World Famous Calypso Since 1956 Speak Their Minds Publicly", is a bold attempt to hear the women's point of view in this matter of "cultural imperialism". Their stories are an emotional roller coaster of laughter, pain and sorrow.