The Arts

Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy

Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy
Theatre of Marionettes
Created and performed by Ronnie Burkett
Factory Theatre, Sept. 28 to Oct. 24, 2010

There is no doubt that puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is extraordinarily talented. His dazzling adult puppet shows have been acclaimed all over the world.

In Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy, Burkett’s subject is an entertainer who performs his puppet shows called Stars in Miniature on cruise ships.

When Billy Twinkle gets fired for insulting an audience member, the play takes us back through his life. Acting as his conscience is an old puppeteer called Sid, his late mentor, who is using his guidance of Billy as his way into heaven.

Everything about this show is lavish including composer John Alcorn’s original score, with Burkett playing all the characters to the hilt…but here comes the “but”.

While I admire Burkett enormously, I found this show very self-indulgent, particularly Billy’s wallowing in his own lack of greatness. Underneath Billy’s failure was Burkett reminding us of his own star power.

Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy continues at Factory Theatre until Oct. 24.

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