Punch gave his first recorded British performance on May 9th 1662.
It was in Covent Garden, London.
He was a character from the Italian Commedia dell’Arte. His name was Puchinella. The man who pulled his strings was the Italian puppeteer Signor Bologne, and in 1662 the show received a rave revue in Samuel Pepy’s diary.
Puchenella, who was famous for his squeaky voice and beak-like nose, got his name from the word ‘pulcino’ meaning chick. The English took to calling him “Punch”.
His voice was produced by the use of a closely guarded trade secret - a small device called a swazzle.
By the late 1700‘s Punch was already a household name. Around this time marionette companies gave way to glove puppet shows. But, even as Punch lost his strings, his grip on the British imagination only became more powerful.
The Victorians loved Mr Punch, his shows could be seen in every town in the country. He also began his move to the coast. Most seaside towns would have a Punch and Judy show often performing, as in Brighton, on the seafront. At this time the crocodile began to appear in the show. Here's a Punch and Judy Show on Brighton beach,near the Fishing Museum, dated 1908.
The anarchic Mr Punch has continued to entertain Britons through two world wars, and countless generations.
His unique brand of mischief has captured the imagination. He has inspired ballets, operas and films. His face can be seen on postage stamps, greeting cards, record sleeves, pub signs and of course, there is always the famous satirical magazine...
In The Brighton Punch and Judy Show, Professor Dill's modern Punch and Judy stays true to the spirit of the original historical show, with it’s colourful characters, and slapstick knockabout.
Brighton sea front has always enjoyed a long line of Punch and Judy men, women, and families. And we are very pleased to report you can still see the wonderful puppetry of the Original World Famous Brighton Punch & Judy Show, performing to this very day - Keeping alive this great British tradition for the next generation!
Punch: A Star of British Entertainment for 350 years!
We perform Punch and Judy Shows all over the UK and also abroad
Please contact Professor Dill at Brighton Punch and Judy East Sussex
To book a Punch and Judy show