Ghosts of Scrooges past!

Ghosts of Scrooges Past!

The story of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, is one of the best known and best loved Christmas stories. This beloved tale of redemption has been told and retold in many forms, from traditional tellings, to those that are down right brazen.

Esmé Massengill

Ronnie Burkett’s Little Dickens, which opened this week in the Historic Theatre falls firmly in the brazen category, with beloved Daisy Theatre character—the booze loving, faded and jaded Diva—Esmé Massengill, taking on the role of legendary miser, Scrooge.

In this role, so perfectly suited to her, Esmé Massengill joins the ranks of so many other celebrities who have taken on the challenge of playing Dickens’ Ebeneezer Scrooge (we think she does it best!).

Here is a look at a few other famous faces that have taken on this legendary role. Esmé is in good company!


Little Dickens runs Dec 4 – 22, 2018 at the Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

 

Little Dickens: The Holiday Hit is BACK!

 

Little Dickens: The Holiday Hit is BACK!

Back by popular demand—Ronnie Burkett’s holiday hit Little Dickens: The Daisy Theatre returns to The Cultch Historic Theatre Dec 4-22, 2018.

In December 2017, Ronnie Burkett premiered this Cultch exclusive, Little Dickens—an adults-only marionette rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol created specifically for the amazing Vancouver audiences who embraced The Daisy Theatre characters in five sold-out runsto the Historic Stage. It was a huge hit with fans, old and new, as well as reviewers!

Check out some of the RAVE reviews from 2017interspersed with an insider look at Ronnie Burkett’s sweet and raunchy characters, direct from his Instagram @ronnieburkett:

“The Dickens story provides a solid platform for Burkett’s high-strung irreverence, but it also has a core of sweetness and generosity that make this show a genuine gift. Enjoy it, Vancouver” — Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“The familiar characters from his bizarre repertoire ring a showbiz variation on Dickens’ tale that’s…warmer and fuzzier in a Christmassy way, punctuated by raunchy asides and moments of sheer Burkettian brilliance”—Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“Puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is a genius. He just is…I would watch Schnitzel all night long anywhere” — Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“Ronnie Burkett’s Little Dickens is a retelling of A Christmas Carol but with more bah-hum-buggery, fewer heartwarming lessons in morality, and a whole lot of excellent banter” — Connal Mcnamara, Vancouver Weekly

I’d recommend seeing it twice because it’s guaranteed you’ll be laughing so hard you’ll have missed some of the great lines the first time around” — Monika Forberger, EntertainmentVancouver.com

“It was a delight to see Dickens’s timeless characters given a glorious and slightly smutty twist” — Molly Gray, The Vancouver Arts Review

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In her gender defying performance as Scrooge in Little Dickens last season, Daisy Theatre superstar Esmé Massengill appeared in a stunning red redemption gown at the end of the show. It was pretty wow, but given that Mrs.Edna Rural essentially stole the show in her light up Christmas tree costume, it was decided to give Esmé a new and “WOW”ier final costume. Kim Crossley, who has made my puppet costumes for almost three decades, came to Puppetland this week, and in two days – voilà! – Miss Massengill shines anew. And in Esmé’s own words, “What tops a Christmas tree, darling? A star, that’s what!” . . #esmemassengill #thedaisytheatre #littledickens #thedaisytheatrechristmascarol #esmeplaysscrooge #costumedesign #puppetdesign #puppetbuilder #theatredesign #maketheyuletidegay #instagay #acchristmascarol #bahhumbugdarling #ronnieburketttheatreofmarionettes

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“…bold storytelling, black humour, and unscripted razor-edged dialogue” — John Jane, reviewVancouver

“I guarantee…you will not have seen anything like this before. It is visually spectacular, exceptionally well executed and truly special to behold” — Penny Warwick, Two Pence & Two Cents

“It’s foul-mouthed fun backed by artistic wizardry, and it’s entertaining as hell” —Lillian Jasper, Two Pence & Two Cents

“Burkett had the crowd laughing along heartily as his marionettes refreshed this classic with their inventive songs and quirky personalities” — Tessa Perkins Deneault, Centre Stage

Are you ready to see your favourite Daisy Theatre characters in in the merriest marionette mash-up again? It is almost time!


Little Dickens runs Dec 4 – 22, 2018 at the Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Little Dickens — An (adults-only!) holiday hit!

Little Dickens —  An (adult!) holiday hit!

Vancouver, don’t miss this one — Ronnie Burkett has created a show just for us! Little Dickens: the Daisy Theatre opened to a packed out house Dec 5. If you have been dreaming of a Christmas show without an audience full of kiddos, then this is the show for you! Here is one of the characters prepping back stage for her opening striptease number!!!

As usual Ronnie Burkett’s is wowing the crowds! On opening night he had everyone in stitches and singing along to holiday songs!

The Georgia Straight posted a great review 

We thought you may want to see some of the buzz surrounding this amazing Cutlch exclusive.

Check out the new curtain!

Little Dickens:The Daisy Theatre runs from Dec 5 – 22 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

The Daisy Theatre has returned to The Cultch!

The Daisy Theatre has returned to The Cultch!

After three sold out runs, the popular marionette production has returned to The Cultch. The Daisy Theatre celebrated its opening yesterday at The Historic Theatre and will run until April 9.

10 things you should know about The Daisy Theatre:

  1. The name “Daisy Theatre” comes from “Daisie”- puppet shows staged in Czechoslovakia during World War II, which were banned by the Nazi-regime.
  2. Every single show is unscripted and partly improvised. So every performance will be different.
  3. The story is dark and sometimes disturbing, but always ridiculous!
  4. Ronnie Burkett’s company consists of over 40 marionettes.
  5. This puppet show is not for kids!
  6. Ronnie Burkett formed his Theatre of Marionettes in 1986.
  7. The Daisy Theatre is “Ronnie unleashed”- a show which is completely different than his last shows with monologues and songs, but without an established script.
  8. Esme Massengill, Mrs. Edna Rural and the fairy child Schnitzel are some of the audiences favourite characters.
  9. The show celebrated its premiere in 2013 and enthused thousand of visitors since then.
  10. The Province calls it “Some of the funniest, most brilliant theatre you’ll ever be lucky enough to see”.

 

We are so excited about the show, and The Daisy Theatre has also obviously infected others with enthusiasm :

“His characters are the stuff of BRILLIANT sketch comedy…the puppets vibrate with life, even though the audience can see Burkett the entire time.” – Andrea Warner, The Georgia Straight

“This is a UNIQUE and CHEEKY form of live stage entertainment that honours and propels the dissident and mutinous roots from which it hath so richly grown” – Baird Blackstone, Broken Leg Reviews

 

The Daisy Theatre runs from March 21 to April 9 at The Historic Theatre. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.  Ask the box office about our “see it twice price.” For ages 19+

Thoughts on Vancouver’s Gay Heritage by Kevin Dale McKeown

McKeown2Kevin Dale McKeown, then and now, was the Georgia Straight‘s first LGBT columnist.

In preparation for The Gay Heritage Project we reached out to Kevin Dale McKeown, The Georgia Straight’s gay news columnist from 1970 – 1975 and currently writing for the online publication Xtra. Here are his thoughts on gay heritage.

Vancouver’s queer community has a long and rich heritage, much of it preserved in oral histories (and barroom gossip) from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, some found in early newsletters of the Association for Sexual Knowledge (ASK) in the sixties, and then, beginning in the 70s in sometimes excruciating detail in my weekly column, “QQ Writes …. Page 69”, in the Georgia Straight, and in subsequent periodicals such as Your Thing, The Gay Canadian, and Angles, all precursors to the appearance in 1993 of Xtra West. There have been many milestones in that history, some of them global, some national, and many less well remembered moments in our own city.

My own appearance in a publicly circulated newspaper was a milestone of sorts, and the founding of Vancouver’s Gay Liberation Front (GLF), the efforts to desegregate our “men only” clubs and bars, the legal struggle of the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) against the Vancouver Sun over its refusal to publish classified ads with the word “gay”, the public rallies and protest during the 70s, and the first Gay Unity March in 1978, which evolved into today’s annual Pride parade are all top-of mind when I think of our heritage and history.

 

The founding of many organizations, especially the drag community’s Dogwood Monarchist Society, which helped rally our community during the terrible plague years during which AIDS took so many of our friends and loved ones, were milestones worth noting.

The opening of a pioneering gay and lesbian bookstore, Little Sisters, in 1983 and their subsequent legal fight with Canada Customs over our right to import and read books that were meaningful to us … there was a milestone!

Yes, we’ve come a long way and made a lot of progress. But I feel that our “community” is now in a challenging period where we are questioning the need for identity politics and squabbling within our ranks over issues that would have seemed irrelevant forty years ago. There is still work to do, and we need to preserve our history so that future generations remember their roots, how hard we fought for what we have, and realize how easily it could all be lost to us if we do not continue to stand together.

We have many allies now we didn’t have before. And we can work together with other marginalized groups to continue to push for advances on all fronts. But ultimately I believe that it is up to us to support and care for our own, and I think that begins with educating and supporting the next generation, and the one after that.

Speaking of identity politics, I dislike both the catch-all use of the word “queer” to represent our community, and the ever-morphing alphabet soup we’re burdened with today.

I’m all in favour of the use of a new acronym, which comes to us out of the London queer community, GSD, for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Doesn’t “GSD community” say it all, without putting anyone’s nose out of joint?

I look forward to hearing more about the history and heritage of the GSD community across Canada through The Gay Heritage Project, and sharing some of my own stories at the opening reception. –Kevin Dale McKeown

gayheritge_HomepageHeader_v1-01About The Gay Heritage Project: Three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as gay heritage? In their search, they uncover a rich history not often shared and shine new light on contemporary gay culture. The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before us and the events that continue to shape our lives.

The Daisy Theatre’s Ronnie Burkett said we would be crazy not to program this show! “Celebratory, upbeat, and deeply moving” — Toronto Star

The Gay Heritage Project runs from March 2nd – 19th at The Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver. Tickets are available from $20. To purchase tickets click here

 

 

The Daisy Theatre Opening Night Photos!

On Sept 23 we kicked off our 2014/2015 season with Ronnie Burkett’s rollicking performance of The Daisy Theatre. The lounge was just buzzing with excitement prior to the show and it’s clear that that buzz will continue for the rest of the run.

“The Daisy Theatre is one of the best shows you’ll ever see. What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone” – Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

Here are some of our opening night photos (taken by one of our volunteer photographers, Edward Juo). A big congrats to Ronnie and his team.

The Wine Guy with our lovely interns, Maude, Teresa and Alex

Paul Martin with our lovely interns, Maude, Teresa, and Alex

Alex Hung and Annalies Camfferman

Alex Hung and Annalies Camfferman

Rich and Sue Baerg

Rich and Sue Baerg

Cindy Reid, Garnet Nelson, and Phillip Waddell

Cindy Reid, Garnet Nelson, and Phillip Waddell

Heather Redfern and Ken Gracie

Heather Redfern and Ken Gracie

Tara Travis and Dusty

Tara Travis and Dusty Hagerud giving the keynote speech

Frank Costanzo

Frank Costanzo

Garnet Nelson, Lydia Lovison, Lucy Komori, and Kath Bourchier

Garnet Nelson, Lydia Lovison, Lucy Komori, and Kath Bourchier

Dusty Heather Redfern, Ronnie Burkett

Dusty Hagerud, Ronnie Burkett, and Heather Redfern

Tara Travis, Dusty, Ronnie Burkett, Heather Redfern and Evalyn Parry

Tara Travis, Dusty Hagerud, Ronnie Burkett, Heather Redfern and Evalyn Parry


The Daisy Theatre runs September 23 – October 12. Tickets are selling out fast! Tickets are available Online or through the box office at 604.251.1363. Tickets from $19!





Single tickets for the new season are now on sale!

Single tickets for our 2014/2015 season are now on sale! You can book seats to your favourite shows online or by calling our Box Office at 604.251.1363!  You’ll find the full calendar for our upcoming season on our website.  Here’s a sneak peek at three of our most anticipated 14/15 shows: The Daisy Theatre, Cinderella: An East Van Panto, and Famous Puppet Death Scenes.

The Daisy Theatre by Ronnie Burkett opens our season September 23 in the Historic Theatre. This season’s edition of The Daisy Theatre will feature new variety acts and characters in addition to existing favourites! Here are some of Ronnie Burkett’s puppets in preparation!

Cinderella: An East Van Panto by Theatre Replacement will be at The Cultch from December 3 – 28, 2014. It is the perfect show to share with your loved ones, kids and adults, during the holidays! This modern adaptation of the classic tale in an East Van setting will make your whole family laugh! See below for a look at pre-production pictures from the show:

From March 31 – April 19, 2015, we will host The Old Trout Puppet Workshop with their brilliant show Famous Puppet Death Scenes! This show will make its long-waited return to The Cultch after touring the world and changing lives. Don’t miss it! Check out the video below:

These three shows are very popular and the tickets won’t last long. To avoid disappointment, book now!