If you don’t know about Ronnie Burkett, you should.
He does these plays with puppets. He writes the play, makes the marionettes and performs the play. It is amazing to watch and often I forget I’m watching puppets during the play. The stories are funny, sad, endearing, usually have a bit of everything. The characters have a way of staying with you long after the play has ended.
The puppets themselves are works of art. The details are amazing, from their faces to the clothing , to the way Ronnie manipulates them. It’s brilliant.
Ever seen a marionette do a strip tease? I have. Ever seen a marionette, manipulate it’s own marionette? How about use a walker? The plays are so far beyond what most think of as a puppet play that you really have to see it for yourself.
I dragged a friend along to “Penny Plain”. She hates puppets, thinks they are evil and scary (something to do with a collection of dolls her Mom had when she was a child and the clown in poltergeist).
She LOVED it. At the end she stared at the stage, as so many do, looking sad that it was over and also thinking back over the whole experience. It is an experience.
Penny is the fifth Ronnie Burkett production that I have seen and is right now my favourite (although I still love Happy). My favourite is usually the one I’ve just seen. Penny’s dog leaves her to go live as a man and then Penny meets a parade of characters as the end of the world approaches. It’s very funny, touching and thought provoking.
It is not for children. Ronnie doesn’t write for children. It is a wonderful story and if you get the chance to ever see Ronnie at work you MUST go!
I am probably going to go again because I don’t want to wait another 3 years to see him. He is in Calgary until November 6, 2011.
You can get tickets at ATP CLICK HERE or look him up and see if he is going to be touring near you soon.