theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Originally posted on The History Girls.
As one of the international History Girls, I didn’t grow up with Punch and Judy. I knew vaguely who they were, and thought I understood what the show signified: children’s street entertainment. What more was there to know?
But just a couple of weeks ago, while holidaying with extended family in Llandudno, I heard a raucous squawking voice that was louder even than the seagulls. I turned around and saw my first real Punch and Judy set-up!
My children (ages 7 and 4) immediately drifted over. While I was still reeling from the screeching voice – amplified by loudspeaker – and contemplating Mr. Punch’s enormous nose, they settled in for the performance. (Children are such experts in the willing suspension of disbelief.) And while I was startled by the show’s violence, the children screamed with laughter and were firmly on Mr. Punch’s side. (I only fully relaxed when Jack Ketch, the hangman, appeared. I was on safer ground there, knowing Jack Ketch’s reputation for…
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