Theatre has been used for hundreds of years, over 2,500 years to be exact, to speak to its audience about love, life, and family, and, at times, to address the current political climate.
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Mom and son take King, Queen titles
Dreams came true at San Fernando’s pre-Dimanche Gras show on Wednesday night, when a Princes Town mother and her son were crowned San Fernando King and Queen of Carnival. Veteran masquerader, Gloria Dallsingh, who is a contender for the National Queen of Carnival title tonight, and her son, Marlon Rampersad, shared joint honours at the show where four crowns, including Soca Monarch and Calypso Monarch, were at stake. Wayne Modeste, dressed in a brown leotaud and singing under the sobriquet, Impulse, was crowned the first San Fernando Soca Monarch for his provocative performance of, Ban Meh Nah. Tricia Hamilton was second with her performance of Leave Mih. Attorney and PNM councillor at the San Fernando City Corporation Rondell Donawa also retained the South Calypso Monarch from a field of eight other contenders, including finalists in the National Monarch Competition, Victoria Cooper (Queen Victoria).
Cooper placed second for her 2014 offering of Political Love Affair, while Joanne Foster placed third with her rendition of Brand New Audience. The five-hour long show at Skinner Park, dubbed “Sando Riddum”, started with a guest appearance of Junior Calypso Monarch Ronaldo London, 16, with his song Hear My Cry, He appeared with his brother Rivaldo. Their performance set the pace for the four competitions which saw the 13 queens gracing the stage. One of the queens, Janice Richards, however, experienced difficulty with her portrayal of Giant Swallowtail Exotica from the band Pan Mas Traditions and had to be helped off the stage. Second was Denesha Jennings, daughter of bandleader Dexter Jennings, with a creative portrayal of Indeera (Mother India), while third place was secured by Laura Rampersad, portraying African Drum Dancer from Ivan Kalicharan’s band.
The calypso competition, where the 11 competitors focused on a range of issues, including crime, politics, corruption and youths, was sandwiched between the queens and kings The kings stormed the stage with their spectacular portrayals but in the end Rampersad was declared winner. He edged out the son of another veteran, Lionel Jagessar Jr, who placed second with a very creative piece called So-Son-Dowa, God of the Hunt and Protector of Natives. Jagessar Jr represented his father’s band Lionel Jagessar and Associates. Third was another well-know Indian masman, Zinool Mohammed, with his portrayal of Madiba, The Head of a Warrior. The first Soca Monarch competition attracted six artistes who lifted the night’s temperature as the cold Skinner Park breeze tore into the soca-loving audience.
Eyebrows were raised when Impulse, singing in position number four, ran on stage dressed in a white shirt, stockings, a hat, socks and sneakers. He was accompanied by his wife Michelle Silver Mentor But jaws dropped, when during the performance of his song, Ban Meh Nah, he pulled off his shirt, revealing the body hugging leotaud, leaving little to the imagination. Hosted by the San Fernando Carnival Committee, the show was opened by deputy mayor Junia Regrello. He and Mayor Kazim Hosein presented the winners with their trophies at the end of the show.
King of the Band:
1. Marlon Rampersad, from Ivan Kalicharan band.
2. Lionel Jagessar Jnr, from Lionel Jagessar & Associates.
3. Zinool Mohammed, from Zinool Mohammed & Associates.
4. Jerome Mohammed, from Zinool Mohammed & Associates.
Queen of the Band:
1. Gloria Dallsingh, from Ivan Kalicharan band.
2. Denesha Jennings, from Jennings Mas & Associates.
3. Laura Rampersad from Ivan Kalicharan band.
4. Kerina Badal from Lionel Jagessar & Associates.
South Calypso Monarch:
1st: Rondell Donawa.
2nd: Victoria Cooper.
3rd: Joanne Foster.
4th: Peter Edwards.
South Soca Monarch:
1st: Wayne Modeste.
2nd: Tricia Hamilton.
3rd: Clint Davis.
4th: Mc Kivin Foster.