Punch & Judy

Swifty

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#32
One of England's few remaining Punch & Judy men lives just around the corner from me, I've helped him out in non performance ways (helping him put up his tent, allowing kids inside the tent with their parents) a couple of times in the past on the (Cromer) pier and he's agreed to allow me to film him in some way at some point which I'm still hoping to do so I can get either a performance, an interview including his props or maybe even both. He's also offered to teach me the ropes with a view to me maybe carrying on the tradition which makes me a bit nervous ... I think it's the whole political correctness + child safety angle that's putting me off ..... even though it's all perfectly innocent and a part of history so I'm kicking myself for not going for it ...

 

escargot

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#33
One of England's few remaining Punch & Judy men lives just around the corner from me, I've helped him out in non performance ways (helping him put up his tent, allowing kids inside the tent with their parents) a couple of times in the past on the (Cromer) pier and he's agreed to allow me to film him in some way at some point which I'm still hoping to do so I can get either a performance, an interview including his props or maybe even both. He's also offered to teach me the ropes with a view to me maybe carrying on the tradition which makes me a bit nervous ... I think it's the whole political correctness + child safety angle that's putting me off ..... even though it's all perfectly innocent and a part of history so I'm kicking myself for not going for it ...

Go for it! There'd be a whole world of canvas and non-PC puppetry between you and the little darlings.

You'd need your own swazzle though, and maybe a spare. You know where it's been.
 

Swifty

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#34
Go for it! There'd be a whole world of canvas and non-PC puppetry between you and the little darlings.

You'd need your own swazzle though, and maybe a spare. You know where it's been.
That's what my heart's telling me, that and I'd be carrying the torch for the next generation to take it over from me to preserve the tradition. The one time he nipped off for a pee, he asked me to watch his tent 'for a bit' .. then a little lad walked up to me with his own Mr Punch puppet on his hand and an earnest 'I'm one of you' determined look on his face .. "Can I look inside the tent?." "Of course you can Sir but where's your Mum?" .. a quick eye dart later and she came over, he looked at me, looked at her and I opened the tent so they could both step inside and she could take a picture of him inside the tent with a real Mr Punch from behind the scenes :thrash: ...

What's a swazzle? ..
 

escargot

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#35
What's a swazzle?
Oh it's great!
It's the gadget that the puppeteer holds in his mouth to make the special voice. You can make your own, apparently.

The thing to remember is that every Punch and Judy operator eventually swallows their swazzle and has to wait until it, y'know, reappears. So nobody ever borrows one.

I saw this on Nationwide or summat as a kid and it stuck with me, as vulgar and scatalogical facts do.
 

Swifty

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#36
Oh it's great!
It's the gadget that the puppeteer holds in his mouth to make the special voice. You can make your own, apparently.

The thing to remember is that every Punch and Judy operator eventually swallows their swazzle and has to wait until it, y'know, reappears. So nobody ever borrows one.

I saw this on Nationwide or summat as a kid and it stuck with me, as vulgar and scatalogical facts do.
I was wondering how he did that voice .. that takes the pressure off a bit, thanks ! .. and I won't put his swazzle in my mouth.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#37
I recall that Professor Codman came to our infant school to do a show back in the sixties. I remember the name because I misread it as Colman and speculated about a mustard connection.

Alas, I have little memory of the show itself, apart from those appalling moments when the baby was chucked into the audience. Little more than babies ourselves, we laughed ourselves silly. It was nearly as funny as the wife-beating!

I don't think there was a live doggie.

Whether this was before or after our encounter with a Codman show on the beach of Llandudno or Colwyn Bay, I cannot recall. Only that it was the sort of show I did not mind repeated! :evillaugh:
 

Swifty

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#40
*hands Swifty a packet of crisps, a pickled egg and a large rum'n'coke*
How about now?
Spoken like a man who understands North Norfolk .. OK Coal, go on then ... and a rolly though ..
 

Analogue Boy

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#41
That's what my heart's telling me, that and I'd be carrying the torch for the next generation to take it over from me to preserve the tradition. The one time he nipped off for a pee, he asked me to watch his tent 'for a bit' .. then a little lad walked up to me with his own Mr Punch puppet on his hand and an earnest 'I'm one of you' determined look on his face .. "Can I look inside the tent?." "Of course you can Sir but where's your Mum?" .. a quick eye dart later and she came over, he looked at me, looked at her and I opened the tent so they could both step inside and she could take a picture of him inside the tent with a real Mr Punch from behind the scenes :thrash: ...

What's a swazzle? ..
Seriously. Ask yourself this question.
How many people on the planet get the opportunity to carry the Mr Punch tradition into the future?

I believe you can buy swazzles online but tie it to a bit of twine. Apparently you're not a proper Professor until you've swallowed three.
 
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#43
At a recent pub quiz my team was faced with the extremely easy question 'what is the name of Mr Punch's dog?'. Incredibly, no one could remember it.

Am now convinced I have Alzheimer's.
 
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Swifty

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#44
Seriously. Ask yourself this question.
How many people on the planet get the opportunity to carry the Mr Punch tradition into the future?
I know! .. that's what's chewing away at me, I'd be taking care of the tradition ... sort of like a last Jedi .. I'll think about it, that's the main draw for me to be honest. I'd have to also learn how to tie balloon animals ..
 

Analogue Boy

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#48
I know! .. that's what's chewing away at me, I'd be taking care of the tradition ... sort of like a last Jedi .. I'll think about it, that's the main draw for me to be honest. I'd have to also learn how to tie balloon animals ..
No you don’t have to learn balloon animals. If anything, you just need a small magic routine. The last one I saw, the guy did some simple magic tricks and had a sleepy monkey puppet in a cardboard box routine.
From memory, I don’t think Codman did anything outside the booth. He just used Joey the Clown as a warm up.

Another routine I saw had a sort of mime routine with Joey struggling to remove the seemingly immovable clock off the playboard to sound of a crazy harmonica tune.
 

Swifty

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#49
No you don’t have to learn balloon animals. If anything, you just need a small magic routine. The last one I saw, the guy did some simple magic tricks and had a sleepy monkey puppet in a cardboard box routine.
From memory, I don’t think Codman did anything outside the booth. He just used Joey the Clown as a warm up.

Another routine I saw had a sort of mime routine with Joey struggling to remove the seemingly immovable clock off the playboard to sound of a crazy harmonica tune.
I can play the harmonica so I could include that .. in theory ..
 

Analogue Boy

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#50
I can play the harmonica so I could include that .. in theory ..
Punch’s story is pretty much traditional. Some Punch puppets have legs so he can sit astride Hector the Horse in that part of the routine. (Not seen much these days).
But the intro to the show is totally up to you and your talents I guess.
 

Swifty

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#51
Punch’s story is pretty much traditional. Some Punch puppets have legs so he can sit astride Hector the Horse in that part of the routine. (Not seen much these days).
But the intro to the show is totally up to you and your talents I guess.
The other thing that appeals to me is I'm used to being behind the scenes as a performer what with special F/X props, film camera work, theatre and sound recording stuff so the idea of being behind a tent and performing magic tricks does appeal ... I wouldn't modernise the show itself though, we all remember when they put a baseball cap on Basil Brush and when Scrappy Doo arrived on the screen for two examples .. fuck that .. neither Punch or Judy would ever own a mobile phone in my show, the original show or nothing ..
 

Swifty

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#54
Summer’s here! Mr. Punch is out.

Spoiler......





Mr. Health and Safety doesn’t come out of it too well.

It surprises me to see kids on that video, I though it was pretty much illegal to film other people's kids these days ..
 
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#55
Summer’s here! Mr. Punch is out.

Spoiler......





Mr. Health and Safety doesn’t come out of it too well.

No, he doesn't!

My God, that was brilliant. As per usual with Puch and Judy shows it's wonderful to see the very young children in particular absolutely loving it (as opposed to looking vaguely distracted whilst jabbing at a tablet).
 

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#56
An old friend of mine does Punch and Judy sometimes. He lacks the commitment to go full-time.

He doesn't use a swazzle for fear of swallowing it.

He has a plot that he once used for an audience that had concerns about domestic violence within the tradition.
 

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#57
An old friend of mine does Punch and Judy sometimes. He lacks the commitment to go full-time.

He doesn't use a swazzle for fear of swallowing it.

He has a plot that he once used for an audience that had concerns about domestic violence within the tradition.
I'm surprised that people still use the swazzles, now that electronic voice changers are available.
 

Analogue Boy

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#59
I'm surprised that people still use the swazzles, now that electronic voice changers are available.
Yeah... and you could do the whole thing as CG and show it on a telly. But that’s hardly traditional is it?
Plus. You’re not a proper Professor until you’ve swallowed a few swazzles. Then you learn to tie some string on them.
 
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