British Theatre Traditions in English Pt. 2

Hello! It’s Faye! I used to be a theater designer in London and have an interest in performing arts. So, I thought it would be nice to introduce some traditional forms of theater 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’s the storyline?

Ever heard of ‘slapstick’ humor and a Punchline? Well this is where those terms are thought to come from!

Even though Punch and Judy is aimed for children it is often very violent, and Punch uses his ‘slapstick’ to attack!

The story isn’t usually fixed but there is a common structure to it. Usually Punch arrives first then Judy. They may well kiss and dance before Judy requests Mr. Punch to look after the baby. Punch will then usually mistreat the baby (sometimes he even puts it into a sausage machine!) and then Judy and him argue and physically fight. A policeman will usually arrive only to be attacked by Punch. Punch will then usually encounter various characters all that he beats (sometimes to death). He will eventually face his final foe (which might be a hangman, the devil, a crocodile, or a ghost) but Punch usually will come out triumphant over everyone!


British Theatre Traditions in English Pt. 2