Ronnie Burkett - The Theatre of Marionettes - "10 Days on Earth"
This entry was posted on 2/23/2007 5:18 PM and is filed under Australia.
RONNIE BURKETT - The Theatre of Marionettes - "10 Days on Earth"
of our favorite theatre pieces was called "The Theatre of Marionettes"
with Ronnie Burkett - 10 Days on Earth. We saw this in the drama
theatre of the Opera House during Mardi Gras Month. Ronnie is
recognized as Canada's foremost master of marionettes and he was
extraordinary. He has been captivated by puppetry since he was
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. Not only does he pull all the strings of the
marionettes, but he also does all of their voices.
Days on Earth" tells the story of an intellectually challenged man
named Darrell who lives with his mother. When she dies in her
sleep, he does not realize that she is gone for 10 days so he continues
living in his twilight world waiting for her to appear.
had an amazing relationship to the puppets. They all seemed so
real and were fabulously carved out of wood and dressed like real
people. The audience absolutely related to them as though they
were real characters, oblivious to him up above, in clear view,
manipulating their strings and voicing their sentiments. And the
set was exquisite also. A truly memorable performance!
We peeked backstage and saw that he must have had nearly 30 puppets to
show the different dress and stages of development of his main eleven
characters. Here are two of the puppets who play the mom, and two
views of Darrell's friend, who he speaks to at the bus stop a couple
Here are Ronnie and Darrell. You can kind of see Ronnie above the
set throughout the performance. At the end he comes out and takes
a bow, and you've been so immersed in the reality of these little
puppets, that when Ronnie comes onstage he looks like a giant.
Here are a couple scenes of Darrell and his friend from the Salvation Army...
Here's the mom, just before she goes off to her bedroom and dies...
And here's his good friend Lloyd, who is a crazy homeless person on the
streets. But though he is crazy, there's a lot of subtlety in his
character too, where he berates people who walk by "Have you forgotten
your Lloyd who created you?", as though he were saying "Have you
forgotten your Lord who created you?" Interesting things, where
Lloyd has fallen down on the ground, and people just walk right by him,
as we would often do a crazy homeless person... but then there he is
making you think - wonder if this were the Lord that you had just
walked right by and didn't help get up?! It made us do a lot of
self-reflecting, and remembering of Baba Muktananda's great teaching
"See God in each other."...