Jean and Dinah: Who Have Been Locked Away in a World Famous Calypso Since 1956 Speak Their Minds Publicly
By Tony Hall
Jean and Dinah, Rosita and Clementina
Round the Corner Posing,
Bet your life is something they selling . . .
- Mighty Sparrow, 1956
Based on the 1956 calypso by the Mighty Sparrow, the play is a tragi-comedy set in present-day Port-of Spain, Trinidad, in Act One, then in Act two, the characters take us some 40 years back to their theatre of the streets of Port of Spain.
It is Jouvay morning, the dawn of Carnival Monday and Jean comes to take her friend, Dinah, to play mas (masquerade) in the city as they have done for the past forty years. This year, however, Dinah is tired and ailing and does not want to go. Jean tries desperately to rally her into making their annual pilgrimage through the streets where they play sailor mas on Carnival Tuesday.
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 their lives. This play gives the women in Sparrow’s calypso a voice. Their stories take us on an emotional roller coaster of laughter, pain and sorrow.