Punch and Judy

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Related to Mr Punch: That's the way to do it

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 ?
Given that Mr Punch, in the 350 years he has been around, has never been at the centre of any significant health and safety issue, you do look at them and go: 'This is what the 21st century is all about'.
THIS brass figure of Mr Punch holding a cup in one hand and a quill in the other would have been mounted on the counter of a tobacconist, and attached to a gas supply.
Mr Punch entertained the youngsters and in between shows there was balloon art to enjoy.
Amongst his many powerful cartoons was 'The Idol of England' (Vanity Fair, July 22nd, 1861) in which John Bull, Mr Punch, Lord Derby, Lord Russell and Lord Palmerston are seen worshipping King Cotton who is portrayed devouring black slaves.
Not forgetting the fantastic Russian version of Mr Punch.
Mr Punch has been entertaining kids for 400 years - but has finally fallen victim to the new drinking laws, which also insist all entertainers have a licence.
This sheet has the hapless tragi-comic ancestor of Mr Punch, characteristically masked and white-hatted, amid a boisterous procession on its way to church for his wedding, but does his bride pay him any heed?
Brian, also known as Mr Punch, said: "We wanted a number plate to give the van that little bit extra but it has inspired us in other ways.
Mr Punch Audio Ltd, Sunday Mail Free Audio Book Offer, 139 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6SU.
But one angry guest interrupted a performance accusing the show of 'child abuse' over the way Mr Punch treated the mini baby puppet on stage.
Glyn Edwards, 68, claimed bureaucrats told him the toy truncheon used by Mr Punch might offend the "vulnerable".
Glyn Edwards, 68, claimed bureaucrats told him the toy truncheon used by famous character Mr Punch might offend the "vulnerable".