Standing at the edge of the ship, contemplating a watery demise, Billy is called back to reality when his dead mentor, Sid Diamond, appears as a handpuppet. Sid forces Billy to re-enact his life as a puppet show, rekindling the passion Billy once had for puppets, people and the dream of a life that sparkles. For anyone stuck in the middle – mid-career, mid-love, mid-life – this requiem for a golden boy shines a little light on the wonder of youth meeting the wisdom of age.
Plays by Ronnie Burkett
Humanity is facing extinction, and Penny Plain, elderly and blind, can only sit and wait for the end. After a heartbreaking farewell from her dog, Geoffrey, who leaves to live as a man, Penny faces the inevitable by herself. But she isn't alone for long as a cast of characters, including a serial killer, a cross-dressing banker, and talking dogs barge into her boarding house in pursuit of last chances and an escape from the hostile world outside. With this steady invasion, Penny bears witness to the funny and chilling consequences as mother earth cleans house and reclaims her ground.
Two old friends become puppeteers, each performing with the same beloved folk characters, Franz and Schnitzel. Fipsi, ambitious and naive, aligns herself with the rule of government, the common good. Carl, headstrong and outspoken, is forced underground as his satirical shows parody the censorship and oppression of the common good. Based on the illegal puppet shows staged in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, Tinka's New Dress examines propaganda versus truth, compliance versus censorship and the collective society versus the individual.
© Nicola Betts
Ronnie Burkett has been captivated by puppetry since the age of seven, when he opened the World Book Encyclopedia to ‘Puppets’. He began touring his puppet shows at the age of 14 and has been on the road ever since. Ronnie has received numerous awards in Canadian theatre as a playwright, actor, and designer for his work with Theatre of Marionettes, including the Herbert Whittaker Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre, and international recognition including a Village Voice OBIE Award in New York for Off Broadway Theatre. From his peers, Ronnie has received three Citations for Excellence in the Art of Puppetry from The American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette and the President’s Award from The Puppeteers of America. Recognized as one of the world’s foremost theatre artists, his work has created an unprecedented adult audience for puppet theatre, and continuously plays to great critical and public acclaim in Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, Sweden and elsewhere. Ronnie is the 2009 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. When not wiggling dollies in front of strangers, Ronnie lives in Toronto.