Mr Punch

Mr Punch

Mr Punch

Mr Punch derives from the Italian character of Pulcinella, who in England later became know as Punchinello. He is a later manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies. Punch’s wife was originally called “Joan.”

The figure who later became Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England on 9 May 1662, which is traditionally reckoned as Punch’s UK birthday. Samuel Pepys First observed a  show featuring an early version of the Punch character in Covent Garden in London. The puppet show was performed by an Italian puppet showman, Pietro Gimonde, a.k.a. “Signor Bologna.” Pepys described the event in his diary as “an Italian puppet play, that is within the rails there, which is very pretty.”

Our Slough based British Punch and Judy show, Mr Punch wears a brightly colored hat with a tassel. He is a hunchback whose hooked nose almost meets his curved, jutting chin. He carries a slap stick as large as himself, which he freely uses upon most of the other characters in the show. He speaks in a distinctive squawking voice, produced by a contrivance known as a swazzle which the professor holds in her mouth, transmitting his gleeful cackle. This gives Mr Punch a vocal quality as though he were speaking through a kazoo. So important is  Mr Punch’s signature sound that it is a matter of some controversy within Punch and Judy circles as to whether a “non-swazzled” show can be considered a true Punch and Judy Show. Other characters do not use the swazzle, so the Punch and Judy professor has to switch back and forth while still holding the device in her mouth.

    

Popular Puppets (click on link to read more)

    

Less Used Puppets

  • Pretty Polly
  • Mr. Scaramouche (Toby’s owner)
  • (Hector) the Horse
  • The Servant (aka: Jim Crow)
  • The Blind Man
  • The Monkey
  • The Dog

 

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