Punch & Judy is a traditional and popular puppet show featuring Mr Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth (known since Victorian times as a « Professor » or « Punchman »). Currently emblematic British character’s, Punch and Judy show actually has roots in the 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte (and then Punch derives from the famous Pulcinella, anglicized to « Punchinello », or « Polichinelle » in French). The figure of the British iconic Mr Punch first appeared in England on 9 May 1662, in Covent Garden in London: Happy (UK) Birthday, Mr Punch !! And that’s certainly the reason why there is a famous Pub in Covent Garden called « Punch & Judy ».
The puppet show, originally intended for adults, evolved into primarily a children’s entertainment in the late Victorian era, taking advantage of the Brighton’s seaside to offer familial and entertaining moments. Punch and Juy are now often associated with traditional British seaside culture, within the popular British music hall song « I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside » (written in 1907 by John A. Glover-Kind; made famous by music hall singer Mark Sheridan who first recorded it in 1909; and then taken up by Punch himself on the Brighton’s beach).
!!This Sunday, bring your children to celebrate Punch’s traditional UK Birthday
where everything got started: in Covent Garden
for the May Fayre and Puppet Festival
Puppetry – Performace and entertainment / St Pauls Church, Covent Garden / Sun May 11
Venue Contact: 020 7836 5221 / www.actorschurch.org
Event Contact: 020 7375 0441 / www.alternativearts.co.uk
« The annual Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival (it has its 39th anniversary in 2014), brings together Punch and Judy professors from around the country for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun. The grand procession at 11am is led by a brass band, and culminates with a birthday toast to Mr Punch, who turns 352 on the day. Mr Punch also takes pride of place in the pulpit during the special church service at noon, and the afternoon (12.30pm-5.30pm) will be filled with puppet shows and workshop, folk music from The Lost Marbles String Band, maypole dancing and clowns. Admission is free. » Further details