What – RONNIE BURKETT THEATRE OF MARIONETTES IN PENNY PLAIN
Where and When – ARTS CENTRE, MELBOURNE, FAIRFAX STUDIO, 08-18 AUGUST, 2013
Reviewer - Joe Calleri.
Stars – 4.
Stars – 4.
Full Disclosure - I attended the opening night of this production on a complimentary ticket as the guest of a media invitee.
|The Master Marionetteer, Ronnie Burkett, with Penny Plain. Image Supplied.|
The latest news is of global Armageddon. Hundreds of millions are dead as a result of widespread global warming, pandemics, viruses, and earthquakes. In the midst of such death, destruction and the breakdown of society as we know it, and quietly sitting in her armchair, is a frail, blind, gentle, unassuming woman, and the titular character of Ronnie Burkett’s marvellous marionette performance, Penny Plain. Sitting next to Ms Plain is well, her … all too human dog, Geoffrey.
Ronnie Burkett, that fast-talking, masterfully dextrous Canadian marionetteer, returns to Melbourne with one of his darkest themed shows to date.
Prepare to be amazed as more than twenty of Burkett’s beautiful, delicately sculpted marionettes, seem to take on lives and emotions of their own, as they navigate, with varying measures of success, the many real perils of a world that is rapidly descending into chaos, corruption and often unspeakable madness and cruelty.
Yes, there are moments of levity, common decency, civility, and a surprising, yet tantalising hint of a potentially bright future for our world during Penny Plain, but, admittedly those moments are brief and mostly weighed down by Burkett’s powerfully clear sub-text that warns audiences of the dire consequences of continuing to abuse our precious planet … and one other.
For those theatre patrons seeking a somewhat unusual, yet genuinely thought-provoking, heart-felt and beautifully conceived and executed theatrical production that allows them to witness a true master of a rare craft at work, I unreservedly recommend Penny Plain to you.