Banning Punch & Judy shows

By | Category: Travel rumblings
At London't Museum of Childhood is a Punch & Judy from 1902

At London’t Museum of Childhood is a Punch & Judy from 1902

In the south Wales town of Barry – best known as the location of the hit TV series, Gavin and Stacey – the town council has banned a Punch and Judy show because it glorifies domestic violence.

According to the local newspaper, Barry & District News, “members of the town council were “shocked to discover that listed among the planned entertainment was a “Punch and Judy Show” – the traditional puppet show which has come under fire in recent years for its trivialisation of domestic violence.”

Bodmin, the Kent & East Sussex Railway, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Winsford and Colchester are some of the places that have banned Punch & Judy Shows. As far back as 1947, the old Middlesex County Council banned it from schools.

Even in their modern form, Punch & Judy shows are as old as the seaside holiday itself.  In essence, it consists of classic music hall gags of hitting people, avoiding police and nicking sausages. (by the dog not Punch) Music Hall and Vaudeville haveall but died so should Punch & Judy?

No body countenances domestic violence but when children have choices like Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes, why should one be singled out? The Three Stooges in the USA incorporate more violence between the “brothers” yet their short films still air on television. Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and a host of Warner Brothers and Disney characters seem to spend chunks of film time get hit by something or other. What circus clown doesn’t end up drenched in water or hit with giant plastic hammers? Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Keystone Kops and

Research seems to show that they can tell the difference between actual violence and story violence.

Let’s suppose they cannot.

You could revamp Punch & Judy shows so that it shows the consequences of violence. Instead of Punch hitting Judy, he could it he policeman and always end up being arrested showing that violence never wins. In many cases that is portrayed by some Punch & Judy Shows already.

Most forms of entertainment evolve. So why can’t Punch & Judy?

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