DECEMBER 2022 | Volume 222


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Little Willy
by Ronnie Burkett
A Production of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes (Toronto)
The Cultch Historic Theatre
Jan. 10-29
From $35 or 604-251-1363

World renowned puppeteer Ronnie Burkett brings his Daisy Theatre ensembleback to the Historic Theatre for a hilarious homage to Romeo and Juliet!

The Cultch is thrilled to present the world premiere of Little Willy, an adults-only marionette retelling of Romeo and Juliet, from Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes. Little Willy plays at the Historic Theatre, January 10-29, 2023.

The Daisy Theatre gang is back with their irreverent hijinks as they take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in Little Willy. Burlesque star Dolly Wiggler starts the show with an Elizabethan striptease in this riotously funny improvised mash-up of one of Shakespeare's most beloved plays. All the leading ladies of the Daisy ensemble battle for the role of Juliet, including faded diva Esme Massengill in a boozy interpretation of the lovesick ingénue. Beloved audience favourites Schnitzel and Mrs. Edna Rural are back in supporting roles, and adding to the fun and mayhem, The Bard himself joins The Daisy Theatre cast for a twisted retelling of this timeless tale.

Vancouver audiences have enthusiastically embraced award-winning Burkett, whose beautifully-crafted marionettes, flair for raunchy humour, and heart-rending storytelling have made him a favourite for Cultch patrons. His shows sell out everytime he comes to town. The Daisy Theatre, his improvised vaudeville show made up of beloved characters like Esmé Massengill, Edna Rural, and Schnitzel, sold-out three runs at The Cultch Historic Theatre. In 2017 he premiered Little Dickens, The Daisy Theatre cast's rendition of A Christmas Carol to great acclaim, and now the cast is back for a very special premiere especially for Vancouver audiences.

"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 heartwarming moments genuinely sweet and moving." — Mark Leiren-Young, Vancouver Sun

"Daisy is a raucous good time, a night out in the company of a puckish agent provocateur whose wits are as quick as his virtuosity is dazzling."— Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal

"Burkett's cast of characters in the Daisy Theatre are raucous, raunchy, and unbelievably lovable" — Lauren Chancellor, The Review Weekly

"Ronnie Burkett is a creative force to be reckoned with"— Penny Warwick, Two Pence & Two Cents

"Burkett's skill as a puppet master is out of this world. He's fully visible the entire time, but the marionettes come to life so completely that you never look at him" 
— Colin Thomas,

"There are times when you simply don't know where to look because the puppeteer and the puppets are equally enchanting"— Jo Ledingham

Created and Performed by Ronnie Burkett

Music by John Alcorn 

Stage Manager/Technical Director: Crystal Salverda

Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes is represented globally by John Lambert & Assoc.

JAN 10: 7:30 PM — Opening
JAN 11–28: 7:30 PM
JAN 29: 2 PM

WHERE: Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.

TICKETS: Tickets from $35. Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or  

This production is intended for adult audiences only, ages 16+.

Ronnie Burkett has been captivated by puppetry since the age of seven, and began touring his shows around Alberta at the age of fourteen. Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes was formed in 1986, continuously playing on Canada's major stages, and as a guest company on numerous tours abroad.

Ronnie received the 2009 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, The Herbert Whittaker Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre, a Village Voice OBIE Award, and four Citations of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette. In 2019, Ronnie Burkett was appointed as an Officer of The Order of Canada.

Forget Me Not is the fourteenth production from Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes, following the international successes Penny Plain, Billy Twinkle, 10 Days on Earth, Provenance and the "Memory Dress Trilogy" of Tinka's New Dress, Street of Blood and Happy. The Daisy Theatre, Ronnie's wildly popular and ever-changing marionette vaudeville show, and the Daisy Christmas show, Little Dickens, continue touring to great acclaim.

Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organization operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, and various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work.

The Cultch is located on the unceded Indigenous land of the xwməϴkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil‑Waututh) Nations.


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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews