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Punch and Judy

Updated on November 30, 2016

Punch and Judy, in Great Britain and some European countries, are a well-known puppet show frequently exhibited in the streets. The show of Punch and Judy derives its origin from the Neapolitan Punchinello, but many of its features are purely English. The earliest account of the adventures of Punch and his wife dates from 1742. This account corresponds pretty closely with the representations given in our streets. The show embodies a domestic tragedy, followed by a supernatural retribution, the whole of which is treated in a broadly farcical manner. Punch himself is represented as short and thickset, with an immense hump upon his back, a wide mouth, long chin and hooked nose, and wearing a three-pointed cap. His wife, Judy, who is in some respects his counterpart, and his dog, Toby, are important characters in the performance.


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