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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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Punch & Judy - a history

Punch, the crocodile and the sausages
Punch & Judy

Professor's Codman's history of Punch & Judy in Liverpool
A Multimedia Presentation
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Professor's Codman's Punch & Judy Show
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  This show was filmed at the Museum of Liverpool Life in February 2002.

History tells us that Mr. Punch arrived in England in the reign of Charles II, after Cromwell’s austere rule.

His name is derived from the Italian "pulcinella" .. soon shortened for English audiences to "Mr. Punch".

Unlike today’s performances, the original was a marionette, dancing and cavorting on strings.

When Punch’s popularity began to wane, he became a glove puppet, with a host of other characters, and what had begun as a fairly unwieldy marionette theatre, with a crew of assistants became a one man travelling show.

In those early days there were a variety of different plots, depending on who put on a show, but soon one version became the standard.

Punch and Judy became a tale of marital disharmony and challenges to authority - hence the policeman!
And just as now, performances over the years have been both topical and satirical, with guest appearances by the stars of the day.

Today, Mr. Punch and his motley crew perform at village fetes, children’s parties and various seaside resorts around the country. Not bad for a 300 year old wooden puppet and his wife.


 




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