Cross-cultural and historical aspects to Punch & Judy

punchnjudyWith this post, I am going to bid you farewell for a couple of weeks, while I hunker down to finish my research thesis, which has been hanging around for far too long. Look forward very much to seeing you in September!

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To celebrate the Great British Summer (ha ha), I offer you some interesting insights into the traditional Punch & Judy show.

Punch & Judy, for anyone not familiar with the name, is a puppet show traditionally performed at the British seaside. Its origins can be traced to the Commedia dell’Arte, and it was first recorded in England in 1662 by Samuel Pepys, although many consider the character to be far, far older. If you are wondering about the connection with this blog, Punch has regular encounters with the forces of the law!

This article, published by The Telegraph in 2010, looks at changes in the Punch & Judy format over the centuries, and also how it differed when “exported” or “translated” all over the world.

London’s Victoria & Albert museum, now known as the V&A, has this fascinating history, together with videos.

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