Ronnie Burkett is one of those names that if you move to Calgary, you hear all the time. Especially if you’re even the slightest fan of theatre.  But if you didn’t know who he was, or what exactly he did, that’s okay, because I didn’t either.  In the theatre world, he’s almost like a spiritual person, because you’re not even sure if he actually exists, you just know that at parties if someone starts talking about him, you nod and agree that he’s great.

So when I heard that Burkett was returning to Calgary with a new marionette show called The Daisy Theatre, I knew it was a must see.

After an intense and spell-binding two-hour show, can I just say that I get what everyone was talking about and that I’m disappointed in that the ten years I lived in Calgary, this is the first time I had seen anything like The Daisy Theatre. I don’t  even know if anything like it exists anywhere else.

Look, I can’t imagine anything harder than trying to master marionettes, trust me, I tried:

Ronnie Burkett: Learning from the master from mike morrison on Vimeo.

It is not easy and Burkett is such a master, that you almost forget that he’s even the one controlling the marionettes. For two hours, I sat there mesmerized.  How can someone bring so much life to an inanimate object? During the show, you’re introduced to a new character every ten minutes or so. In that time, you become completely obsessed with them and by the time they leave the stage, you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. I know I sound dramatic, but I just found the whole show so moving, it felt like it almost too much emotion to handle in such an intimate space.

While I was watching The Daisy Theatre, I kept thinking about theatre experience itself and I have to say that I haven’t enjoyed something this much in a long time. I liked that it was cabaret style (yes, having a drink at theatre is fun), I like that the space was intimate (not a bad seat in the house) and I liked that it was interactive. Burkett’s quick wit made anyone sitting in the audience and easy target for some light jabs.

The Daisy Theatre is something that I’ve been craving for a long time. And because every show is different, I can go back before it closes on March 7th and see something almost completely different from the first time.

If you’ve seen him before, you know what to expect and chances are you already have tickets. If you’ve never seen him, take a chance on experiencing something that you’ll likely never forget. Yes, it’s that good.

Mike Morrison


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