We could not allow Puppet Month to go by at The Arcade of Arts & Arcana without wishing a very Happy Birthday to Mr. Punch who is celebrating 350 years of terrifying minors with his anger-management issues.
Here are a few Punch facts to peruse if the pictures haven’t made you run screaming from this post ~
* Punch & Judy performers are known as “Professors” and are sometimes assisted by a “Bottler” who corrals the audience, collects money and provides musical accompaniment.
* Mr. Punch is a manifestation of the mythological Trickster archetype. His current anglicized form was adapted from the sixteenth century Neapolitan character Pulcinella from the Italian Commedia Dell’ Arte.
* Diarist Samuel Pepys recorded Punch’s début in London’s Covent Garden in 1662.
* Punch regularly beats the other characters with a wooden baton known as a “slapstick”, a name now used as a collective term for a genre of physical comedy.
* The Punch & Judy Show was originally intended for adults. Contentious characters such as The Devil and Punch’s mistress Pretty Polly were sidelined in the late Victorian era as the performances were adapted for children.
* The device which creates Punch’s familiar rasp is called a swazzle.
Finally, a little treat from Stop-Motion Maestro Jan Svankmajer. Don’t have nightmares, Blogsprites!