Mr. Punch made his first appearance on the streets of London in 1662 (recorded in the diary of Samuel Pepys), and is as popular today as he has always been. For more than three centuries performers of this traditional English puppet theatre have delighted audiences with the antics of the incorrigible and anarchic Mr. Punch.
Originating from the Commedia d’el Arte, it is thought that Mr.Punch started his life as a human character called Pulcinella, played by a masked actor in a bawdy street entertainment. This troupe toured all over Europe, and the character of Pulcinella became so popular that he was immortalised as a marionette (string puppet) before becoming a glove puppet. Most European countries have their own versions of the English “Punch and Judy” show.
Rod Burnett is regarded as one of the leading performers of the Punch show in the U.K. and he has performed all over the world, His show retains the vitality and zest of the original performances, and is full of comic cruelty and black humour.
Mr. Punch meets various characters - Judy (his wife), their baby (who ends up as sausages), a policeman, crocodile, hangman and devil - and deals with them all in his savage and violent style. The show is anarchic, enthralling, and above all, very, very funny.