In Forget Me NotCanadian puppet master Ronnie Burkett invites the audience into the ramshackle and dystopic immersive land of The New Now. Upon entering the vast cavernous space in Carriageworks we come into a parlour-like setting, mismatched chairs, chaise lounges, piles of books and candles abound, festoon lighting sets the mood. For the observant, there is a figure slumped in a corner like an oversized doll or a discarded toy. Once everyone is seated the figure arises and delivers a lengthy opening monologue, setting up the world we have now become active participants in and effectively establishing the dynamics of dramaturgy written in a female voice but delivered by a man. This central character of She will be played out in a variety of forms as the performance progresses. She, The Keeper of the Lost Hand in druidess robes stalks around the room, setting the scene and raising the question: will She be the largest puppet in the show and, if so, who is pulling the strings?

Fingers touching still Ronnie Burkett’s Forget Me Not. Photo © Dahlia Katz

When the hood is pushed back we meet Burkett, playing the...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.