There is no show without Punch!!!

Posted on: June 3, 2012

Today I spent the afternoon at The Hare and Hounds Bowland Bridge at their fun day.  The weather was cool but the rain decided to stay away which was fantastic.  I painted lots of faces, showed children and parents how to make balloon dogs and of course performed a Punch and Judy show.

I always get really nervous when performing Punch and Judy because adults have a preconceived idea of what the show should be like and children are not familiar with it so you have two different audiences to win over. The main aim is to eventually provoke a slanging match between you and the audience.

In most areas of life you succeed by being well planned and calm, and having been a teacher where writing plans and being calm was of paramount importance I try very hard to be well planned and professional.  When you do a Punch and Judy show you have to do the complete opposite as over planning a performance makes it staid and boring.

My show today had been planned to be very politically correct with minimal hitting and no wife beating but ended up being a fight between a pirate and Punch with a frying pan and a dog bone.  The audience, who were predominately fathers and sons, really got into it and by the end of the show  they demanded and encore and wanted Punch to fight with the crocodile.  The children were shouting at the puppets telling them they were not real and arguing with them when they said they were.  I have to thank a man and his dog who really taught the audience what to do by bantering with me – we even had a dog barking competition.

Afterwards the adult members of the audience thanked me and told me it had been a great show, little did they know that on occasions in my little booth I panicked about the show dying a death and the only reason it was a success was because I threw away my plans and  just went bonkers and put my heart and soul into my performance.

All of the older generation in the pub praised me about my performance, which was fantastic because they would be familiar with the tradition.  One even kept teasing me about my hideous trousers as if he was trying to be friendly but didn’t know what else to say.  However my trousers were hideous and people said they liked my pink hair but not my trousers, which were rainbow patterned and very baggy, so I won’t wear them again.

So next time I do a performance I am not going to be as uptight and just go with the flow.  My throat was sore and I was shattered after my afternoon’s work but I felt victorious.  When I got home my husband informed me that five hours with a boisterous three year old was tiring and monotonousness and it was my turn to deal with him.  You don’t say 😉



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June 2012

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