Little Willy may not be what you are thinking. That is unless you are a fan of master puppeteer Ronnie Burkett, who returns to The Cultch with his newest creation as the Daisy Theatre gang takes on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
A favourite of Cultch audiences over past years for his hand-crafted marionettes, some raunchy humour, and a flair for storytelling, Burkett’s shows, including Forget Me Not and Little Dickens, have sold out each time he has made an appearance at the East Vancouver culture hub.
In Little Willy, many of Burkett’s Daisy Theatre marionette stars appear in this twisted retelling of The Bard’s timeless tale, including burlesque star Dolly Wiggler who starts the show with an Elizabethan-inspired striptease.
Also returning are the leading ladies of the Daisy ensemble, who battle for the role of Juliet. Other audience favourites, such as Schnitzel and Mrs. Edna Rural, also make appearances. Even the Bard himself will join the cast in this improvised mash-up of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies.
A master puppeteer, Burkett was captivated by puppetry at seven and began touring his shows around Alberta at fourteen. Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes was formed in 1986 and has continuously played on Canada’s major stages and numerous tours abroad. The award-winning artist was appointed as an Officer of The Order of Canada in 2019.
Little Willy plays The Cultch’s Historic Theatre (1895 Venables St, Vancouver) January 10-29. Visit thecultch.com for tickets and information. Little Willy is intended for mature audiences 16+ years.