Punch and Judy


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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.

Bibliography

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

References in periodicals archive ?
At the centre of the exhibition, modern takes on the Punch and Judy world can be seen and you can have your own opinions on the slightly unsettling puppet versions of famous figures.
There are no set characters in a traditional Punch and Judy show, which often involves their baby, a hungry crocodile, a clown, a policeman and a string of sausages.
It's bound to trigger fond memories of holiday Punch and Judy shows.
He's a member of the Punch and Judy Fellowship (patron Harry Hill) and trav-elled the globe with his show.
A wider shot of the happy scene shows the small crowd gathered around the Punch and Judy Show at the side of Lime Street, where the Liverpool Media Wall stands today, with St George's Hall, the Empire Theatre and the North Western Hotel building - which had long since closed to guests - in the background.
Most of the Punch and Judy operators have had their business handed down from their fathers, as did Brian.
The Punch and Judy Fellowship said: "Punch and Judy does not encourage wife bashing.
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.
A PUNCH and Judy show d has been dropped from a Barry Island summer week-kender after concerns were raised that it trivialised domestic violence.
Further entertainment was provided by Colne Valley Music School, cheerleaders and a Punch and Judy puppet show.
ENGLAND TODAY See the superstars of seaside silliness for traditional Punch and Judy slapstick nonsense on Brighton seafront.