London celebrates Puppet Festival

CNC
Added On May 14, 2014

 The annual Covent Garden May Fayre&Puppet Festival in London brought together Punch and Judy puppeteers from around the country for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun on Sunday. Lifestyles takes you there.

 
Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular puppet show telling the story of Mr. Punch and his wife Judy in a sequence of short scenes. 
 
More than 50 performers coming from all over the country set up stages at Covent Garden in London, taking turns to present episodes of Punch and Judy. Unlike other puppet shows, Punch and Judy has no fixed plot, improvisational performance and interaction with audience are its two big highlights. 
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BENJAMIN HASKER, Puppeteer
"Because the Punch and Judy performers who have always performed with Mr Punch, they've always done a very good job of keeping him alive. So I think it's the performers who've kept the tradition going. I do love to be beside the seaside. "
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CLIVE CHANDLER, Puppeteer
"Yeah it's a fantastic performance. You'll see it today. It's a very generational thing. Parents, their children, the grandparents, everybody enjoys Punch and Judy. It's part of our folk history and because it's been going so long, every generation likes to see it continuing and developing."
 
Besides puppet shows, visitors can also enjoy puppet workshops, stalls, refreshments and folk music at the festival.
 
According to the organizer, Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England on May 9, 1662, which is widely-considered as Punch's birthday.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MAGGIE PINHORN, organizer:
"Here in Covent Garden many years ago when we were all quite young, we were trying to save this area from being all pulled apart. We decided to celebrate this very special piece of history and that was over forty years ago now and we have been running this event to bring this very special piece of history to people and for them to come and enjoy this art of Punch and Judy which is very old but still entertains many children and lots of families."
 
The event was organized by British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, Punch and Judy Fellowship and The Puppet Centre Trust.