Who Invented The Punch And Judy Show?


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Shelagh Young answered
The Punch character dates back to the 16th century and there is no recorded inventor of the modern Punch and Judy show as such. Samuel Pepys recorded enjoying a puppet show in Covent Garden in his diary. The puppeteer then was an Italian and the show comprised of stringed marionettes in a tent not the glove puppets in a small booth we are familiar with today. The characters of Punch and Judy are thought to have spread right across Europe from Italy. In Germany they are known as Kasper and Grete. The booth and glove puppet style evolved in the 19th and 19th centuries and became a key attraction for holidaymakers in seaside resorts and at traveling fairs. Often criticised for getting laughs from violence the shows have survived into the 21st century almost unaltered. Based on slapstick humour and the famous Punch catchphrase 'That's not the way to do it', each puppeteer weaves their own stories and actions around a familiar basic theme.

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