Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

The Punch & Judy Festival in Covent Garden | Spitalfields Life

Originally posted on Spitalfields Life

Today I preview the annual Punch & Judy Festival which is held this year on Sunday 10th May.

On 9th May 1662, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary “Thence to Covent Garden… to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and a great resort of gallants …” It was the first record of a Punch & Judy show in London and, as a consequence, May 9th has become celebrated as Mr Punch’s birthday – when all Punch & Judy “professors” gather each year upon the leafy green behind the church.

After an early morning shower on the day of my visit, the sun broke through to impart a lustre to the branches of may blossom growing in the churchyard, which create an elegant foliate surround to the freshly sprouting lawn, where the Punch & Judy booths were being assembled as the centrepiece of the Covent Garden May Fayre. As they set up their booths, the professors were constantly interrupted by the arrival of yet another member of their clan, and emotional greetings were exchanged as they reunited after another year on the road. Yet before long, a whole line of booths encircled the lawn and vibrant red stripes filled…

via The Punch & Judy Festival in Covent Garden | Spitalfields Life.

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