The character of Mr Punch is descended from the Italian clown Pulcinella who featured in the Commedia Dell' Arte medieval tradition of the 15th Century. Players toured Europe and Samuel Pepys recalls seeing such a troupe in Covent Garden in 1662 during the festivities surrounding the wedding of Charles II. This date is considered 'Punch's Birthday' and Mr Punch first become popular in London under the name Punchinello before it was shortened to the Mr Punch we know today.
As performing in towns became more difficult Mr Punch travelled on the newly arrived railways to the seaside where he entertained the great British working class as they took their holidays - this is the image of the seaside Punch and Judy Show which we are most familiar with. So the Italian Pulcinella was transformed into childrens entertainment, a role in which Punch saw out the end of the 19th Century and the entire 20th Century.
Punch and Judy still going strong over 350 years later.
For more information on the history of Punch and Judy visit www.punchandjudyclub.com
Email email@example.com | Call +44 (0)7905 200847