CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Fayre packs a Punch!

10 May, 2019 — By The Xtra Diary

 

Head to St Paul’s, “The Actors’ Church”, in Covent Garden on Sunday to enjoy the annual May Fayre and Puppet Festival.

Diary has watched with endless fascination the traditional Punch and Judy shows, and it seems fitting that there will be one in Covent Garden at the weekend, as it was here that Londoners were first introduced to the slapstick couple, who share the stage with a crocodile, a bobby and a string of sausages.

It is said to be the 357th birthday of Punch and Judy and its history is linked with the Covent Garden area.

In the early 1700s, showman Martin Powell set up Punch’s Theatre in Covent Garden and attracted huge crowds. He was soon copied by others and the adventures of Punch and Judy became ubiquitous on the London streets.

Punch’s catchphrase, “That’s the way to do it!” was in use back then. Expect plenty of such utterances as Covent Garden’s May Fayre celebrates this timeless entertainment.

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