Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland LIVE, Auckland

02/09/2015 - 06/09/2015

Fletcher Construction Festival Studio at The Arts Centre, Christchurch

27/08/2015 - 29/08/2015

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season 2015

Christchurch Arts Festival 2015

Production Details

Auckland Live presents
A Production of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes

The Daisy Theatre

Auckland International Cabaret Season

Ronnie Burkett in the Daisy Theatre unleashes forty exquisitely crafted marionettes in a dangerously unscripted cabaret show.
Be prepared to fall in love with the tender and outrageous characters of The Daisy Theatre, from beloved fairy child Schnitzel to lounge singer Rosemary Focaccia, marionette ventriloquist Meyer Lemon, chanteuse Jolie Jolie and  “Canada’s oldest and worst actress” Miss Lillian Lunkhead.

Ronnie manipulates and voices these jaw-droppingly life like and saucy marionettes, parodying opera, musicals, Las Vegas, French cabaret and vaudeville. With ever-changing content and nightly improv in an intimate setting, The Daisy Theatre is truly a “see it more than once” theatrical experience.

Music by John Alcorn.

…one of the more excellent shows you’ll see all season — maybe ever…
Calgary Herald

Burkett’s mastery of his craft and the beauty of his handmade puppets makes the comedy funnier, the raunch raunchier and keeps the heartfelt and heart-warming moments, genuinely sweet and moving.
Vancouver Sun

Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 September, 8pm
Sunday 6 September, 6pm
Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre

Running Time
120 minutes, no interval.
Latecomers will not be admitted.

Christchurch Arts Festival 2015 
WHEN: Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 August 8.30pm
WHERE: Fletcher Construction Festival Studio at The Arts Centre
TICKETS: $52 / Conc $42
0800 TICKETEK (842 538)
DURATION: Approx 120 mins, no interval
Latecomers will not be admitted.


Marionette, Costume and Set Design                    Ronnie Burkett
Music and Lyrics and Sound Design                          John Alcorn
Production Manager / Artistic Associate                        Terri Gillis
Stage Manager                                                  Crystal Salverda 
Associate Producer                                                 John Lambert 

The Daisy Theatre was co-commissioned by the Luminato Festival (Toronto) and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (Los Angeles) and produced in association with Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes (Toronto). 

Ronnie Burkett received development support for
The Daisy Theatre from the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes is exclusively represented by  John Lambert & Assoc., Montreal, Canada

Marionettes built by   Ronnie Burkett
Costumes                  Kim Crossley
Puppet Builders         Angela Talbot, Gemma James-Smith,
                                 Marcus Jamin,  with Gil Garratt and
                                 Martin Herbert
Shoes                        Camellia Koo
Accessories               Robin Fisher
Marionette Controls   Luman Coad
Majordomos              Robbie Buttinski and Daisy Padunkles 

The Daisy Theatre stage devised and created by Mike Kukucska, Hamilton Scenic Specialty Inc. 

“The Max Blümchen Orchestrale” pit band devised and constructed by Eric James Ball, with puppets sculpted by Noreen Young. 

The Franz and Schnitzel theme music composed by Cathy Nosaty.

 The Daisy Theatre theme song sung by Laura Hubert.

Theatre , Puppetry , Cabaret ,

120 mins NO INTERVAL

Creative play leads to deeper places

Review by Lindsay Clark 28th Aug 2015

The much acclaimed puppetry of Ronnie Burkett proves yet again that theatre magic has little to do with size or razzmatazz and everything to do with audience engagement. From the moment he steps out to front the appropriately-scaled puppet stage, it is clear that this will be an evening of shared imaginations, where we will help shape what happens and where together we’ll have fun. 

The semi-improvised show introduces a series of marvellous characters who happen to be marionettes. There are forty standing with their backs to us in the wings and periodically we’ll be invited to choose which personality will take the stage. Ronnie Burkett is the sole manipulator, voicing all with masterly control. The real magic is that he is invisible, though clearly before our eyes. Even when he leaps down from the bridge to attend to the set, we are far too engrossed in what has just happened or will happen next to see him. 

First up is the glamorous burlesque artiste, Miss Dolly, spotlit, blonde and curvy. Like all the characters we meet, she has a problem, vigorously revealed in her musical number about getting back to the farm, shedding layers of glitz for gingham and less. At this point I am still marvelling at the dexterity controlling her angst and the coordination of voice and movement, but by the end of her number, I have all but forgotten the agency directing it all. 

Then, in a daring piece of programming, we are given one of the main delights of the evening: the daisy-headed, fairy-costumed child, Schnitzel. This is a timid and initially bullied creature who summons the courage to climb the curtains to ask the creator for wings. Of course we help. By now we are enthralled, sympathetic as well as surprised by the poignancy of tenderness. We are in the hands of a master. 

More riches are in store. Highlights for me (though there are no lowlights) are: ex Major-General Leslie Fugwar, who gives us teddibly English songs in drag (hilarious accompaniment managed by an audience member); ageing superstar Esmé with her extraordinary ability to slither; Mrs Edna Rural, self confessed ‘silly old biddy’; and glorious Rosemary Foccacia, raddled Italian show biz personality whose scene is accompanied by another little miracle, a full band.

Along with the fun, there are haunting questions about what is real, as the child/fairy engages us about ‘crossing the line’ between the illusion and something we call real. We are aware that we too are on a string, perhaps, and puzzlingly we are also in control. More than an evening’s delight, the show is a captivating reminder of creative play and the deeper places it can lead us.


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