Punch and Judy

(redirected from Punch and judy show)
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Punch and Judy,

famous English puppet play, very popular with children and given widely by strolling puppet players, especially during the Christmas season. It came to England in the 17th cent. by way of France from Italy and developed out of the commedia dell'artecommedia dell'arte
, popular form of comedy employing improvised dialogue and masked characters that flourished in Italy from the 16th to the 18th cent. Characters of the Commedia Dell'Arte
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 character, Pulcinella. To this traditional figure of the Italian comedy were added aspects of the medieval English foolfool
or court jester,
a person who entertains with buffoonery and an often caustic wit. In all countries from ancient times and extending into the 18th cent., mental and physical deformity provided amusement.
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. Punch, a hunchback, with a hooked nose and chin and a pot belly, was the cruel and boastful husband of a nagging wife, Judy, whom he often beat and in many versions killed. The language of the play is coarse and often satirical. The text was first written down and printed by J. P. Collier in 1827.


See G. Baker's Playing With Punch (1944); P. Fraser, Punch and Judy (1970).

References in periodicals archive ?
But at a meeting of Barry Town Council this week, members were shocked to discover that a Punch and Judy show was listed in the plan of events.
But at a meeting of Barry Town Council this week members were shocked to discover that a Punch and Judy show was listed in the plan of events.
Traditional Punch and Judy shows have been around for 350 years.
The giant screen will enable racegoers to see even more action on the track There's a selection of attractions for youngsters, including Punch and Judy shows, a roundabout, bouncy castle, face painting, go-karts and a clown, along with vouchers for free ice creams while stocks last.
A PUNCH and Judy show may be banned - over fears it encourages wife-beating.
It was 200 years ago this year that the modern Punch and Judy show evolved.
A Punch and Judy show was banned from a local summer weekend of activities HAS anyone watched telly lately?
Organisers have scrapped a popular Punch and Judy show at a children's fun day because it's too violent
Jason Millband, whose wife was directly descended from the Codmans - the original owners of Llandudno's Punch and Judy show - died on February 26 aged 74.
And 'Professor' Quintin Greatrex, who has been enthralling Birmingham children with his Punch and Judy show for 40 years, is sick and tired of the Politically Correct brigade's bid to water-down the classic.
They organised a beach week - with support from care home manager Kim Hirst - featuring everything from ice cream and fish and chips to a Punch and Judy show.