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Once commonplace at every seaside resort throughout the country, Punch & Judy shows have been entertaining audiences for many generations. The show as we know it today has its origins traceable to the Commedia dell Arte street theatre of 16th Century Italy and most probably goes back even farther than this. You can read a definitive history of Mr Punch and find out much more about his tradition at our partner website Punch and Judy Online.
The Punch & Judy Fellowship (known as the PJF) was founded in 1980, by the late Percy
Press II, along with several other well known Punch & Judy performers in order to
preserve, promote and protect the traditions of Britain's much loved national puppet
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The founding members of the Punch & Judy Fellowship - Photograph taken in September 1980
The development, preservation and promotion of Punch & Judy shows
Raise the public's appreciation of the show by increasing their understanding of its development, history and traditions
Foster friendship between all those who perform and enjoy Punch & Judy shows
Improve and maintain the highest standards of entertainment and performance
Encourage young performers, to ensure the future of the show
Each year the Punch & Judy Fellowship holds various festivals as well as its members being the principal performers in many other events and festivals. For more details please visit our events page by clicking here.
You may also like to contact those who are included in our List of Performers and enquire when and where their next public Punch & Judy show will be. Click here to search the list and you should find performers who are local to you.
Where can I go to watch a Punch & Judy show?
You can buy them from several of our members who make them commercially:
Bryan Clarke - Telephone: 01502 741351 Website: Click here
Teddy Corden - Telephone: 0115 958 1215
Brian Davey - Telephone: 01297 443728 Website Click here
Mel Harvey – Telephone 07860 485578 Website: Click here
Where can I buy professionally made Punch & Judy puppets etc?
On 9th May 1662, Samuel Pepys jotted down in his diary the earliest reference to Mr Punch. After visiting Covent Garden, he wrote...
“Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants.”
This is taken to refer to a Punch show put on by an Italian puppeteer named Signor Bologna, who arrived in London earlier that year, however little is known about the content of the show.
Due to this sighting Punch & Judy performers see Covent Garden as being the home of the show and to commemorate it there is a plaque on the wall of St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden. On the second Sunday in May each year, performers and enthusiasts from around the world gather in the gardens of the church to celebrate Mr. Punch’s birthday.
Why is Covent Garden so significant to the world of Punch & Judy?
Does anyone hire Punch & Judy puppets etc?
Where can I learn Punch and Judy skills?