Friday, November 25, 2011

Punch and Judy (With All the Scary Bits!)

While Ken handed out pamphlets at the markets for his travelling Punch and Judy show, I asked his partner Kirsty, "what is it about Punch and Judy? What are your theories?"
She replied that kids are always being told what to do and how to behave, Constable Care style. When they are exposed to Punch's reprehensible, ridiculous buffoonery that involves him making the same mistake over and over again, children are happy to claim the moral power to let him know where he is going wrong. So they teach themselves ... Nice hey.

Here are the details for Punch and Judy in Albany and Denmark:

ALBANY, this Saturday, Nov. 26.
11 am & 2pm
St Johns church hall
York Street.

This Sunday, 27th
CWA Hall
Mitchell street

Kids $10.00
Adults $12.00
Family (4) $40.00


  1. Is that how it works? I've often wondered. Punch and Judy as a moral fable on how to behave.

  2. I've often wondered too Elisabeth!

  3. Or perhaps the English just leting off steam and expressing their dark not-wanting-to-be-politically-correct side.

  4. How to behave??? How were you brought up??? Actually, you have reminded about a bit of Punch that I wrote up once - I think I'll post it up and give it an airing.

  5. Ah' the thing is that the Punch and Judy Show originated long before the wretched PC came into being. P&J were in vogue during Will Shakespeare's time circa 16th century.

    I recall sitting on the beach as a child and watching them and having a great laugh! To be honest the concept of it being about moral behaviour never crossed my mind until now :) !

  6. Tom and Mr Heron, it is great to hear your airings and views! There is a term here in Oz, 'nanny state' meaning the over-regulation of just about bloody everything.
    How I was brought up (quite feral, motorbikes, horses and guns) is pretty different to the rules and regs these days. I really like Kirsty's Punch and Judy theory when it comes to modern day kids. I thought it was spot on.

  7. It is in a strange way a moral fable but it is first of all anarchic subversive comedy - subversive to the rules of good behaviour. No kid leaves the show thinking "now I must not bash anyone with a stick" but maybe they enjoyed seeing a puppet enact their occasional thought crimes. Comedy helps us to acknowledge the animal beneath the skin without doing the bashing ourselves. Thanks for the discussion