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The Daisy Theatre meeting the master behind one of puppetry’s most outrageous stage shows

Thursday 09th, March 2017 / 16:09
By Johnny Papan

photo by Alejandro Santiago

VANCOUVER – “When I was seven years old, I opened a World Book Encyclopaedia and landed on the word ‘puppet.’ I thought, ‘That’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life.’ The old family joke was that if I’d happened to look at the word ‘proctologist,’ I’d be looking up your ass right now.”

Ronnie Burkett has been running his ever-popular Daisy Theatre since 2013. Originally intended to be a one-off performance, this live, improvisational puppet show was met with acclaim, and has since been consecutively selling out theatres over the last four years.

“It can be funny, it can be political, and it can be very dirty,” Burkett states. A self-proclaimed news junkie, Burkett draws inspiration from current events and trending topics daily. “What’s the audience’s baggage when they walk in? What are we as a community in that darkened room thinking? It’s surprising which characters can address this kind of stuff and how the crowd will react.”

Audience interaction is also a part of the show. Some volunteers may find themselves manipulating characters and others could somehow end up with their shirt off. “When you invite a civilian to the party, you lose full control of what’s happening. Everything is in the moment.”

Of the Daisy’s large, diverse cast, Burkett highlights three hand-sculpted stars: Edna Rural, a confused and judgemental Canadian; Esme, a drunk, vulgar, and bitchy Hollywood movie star; and Schnitzel, the innocent fairy. “These three characters are all equal thirds Ronnie.”

In regards to the Daisy’s terrific popularity, Burkett states, “I’ve always wanted to ask audiences why they keep coming back. I think it’s because I have a point of view. If an artist doesn’t have a point of view about the time they live in, it’s just empty entertainment.”

“The world is nuts and uncertain right now; the Daisy is the right dose of satirical nonsense. Expect the unexpected.”

The Daisy Theatre runs at the Historic Theatre from March 21 to April 9

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