British Theatre Traditions in English Pt. 1

Hello! It’s Faye! I used to be a theatre designer in London and have an interest in performing arts. So, I thought it would be nice to introduce some traditional forms of theatre from England. Today I thought I would talk about “Punch and Judy”. It has some similarities to the Japanese Kami-Shibai.

こんにちは!フェイです!私はロンドンでシアターデザイナーをしていて、舞台芸術に興味があります。これからイギリスの伝統的な舞台をいくつか紹介したいと思いますが、今日は“Punch and Judy”についてお話ししようと思います。日本の紙芝居と似ているところがありますよ。

What is it?

“Punch and Judy” is a traditional form of puppet theatre in England. The puppets are usually made of papier-mâché with cloth. It is usually performed in a small striped booth/ tent and usually next to the seaside. It first started in the 16th Century in England and still continues to this day! It is performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth. Money is usually collected from the audience in a bottle. The person holding the bottle (known as the ‘bottler’) sometimes plays instruments to accompany the show and sometimes chats with the puppets in the show. The audience is encouraged to participate and yell out to the puppets.

“Punch and Judy”はイギリスの伝統的な人形劇のひとつです。この人形達はたいてい張り子で出来ていて服を着ています。海の近くに作ったストライプ柄の小さなブースやテントでパフォーマンスをしていて16世紀にイギリスで始まり現在まで続いているんですよ!

Who are the characters?

Punch is instantly recognizable with his exaggerated big red nose and chin. He wears clothing similar to an English 16th century court jester. Along with Punch and Judy, the cast of characters usually includes their baby, a hungry crocodile, a clown, a policeman. The devil and the hangman Jack Ketch may also make an appearance.

“Punch”は大げさなほど大きな赤い鼻と顎ですぐに見分けることができます。彼は16世紀の道化師に似た服を着ています。たいていPunchとJudyと一緒に彼らの子供やお腹をすかせたワニ、ピエロ、警察官などが登場します。悪魔や絞首刑執行役のJack Ketchもまた登場します。
典型的な“Punch and Judy”のショーでは以下の登場人物が出てきます。

•Mr. Punch
•The Baby
•The Constable
•Joey the Clown
•The Crocodile
•The Skeleton
•The Doctor

Characters once regular but now occasional include:

•Toby the Dog
•The Ghost
•The Lawyer
•Hector the Horse
•Pretty Polly
•The Hangman (a.k.a. Jack Ketch)
•The Devil
•The Beadle
•Jim Crow ('The black man')
•Mr. Scaramouche
•The Servant (or 'The Minstrel')
•The Blind Man

Other characters included Boxers, Chinese Plate Spinners, topical figures, a trick puppet with an extending neck, and a monkey. A live Dog Toby was sitting on the play board and performing 'with' the puppets.


British Theatre Traditions in English Pt. 1