Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Fun: Punch and the Beadle

The Beadle
as envisioned by Chris van der Craats
Well, as much as I love him, I must admit that Mr. Punch is a rather naughty fellow. For all of his cuteness and charm, he does occasionally do some things that just aren’t “the way to do it.” So, it’s inevitable that his actions should attract the attention of the law. In traditional Punch & Judy shows, Punch is confronted by a variety of representatives of the law. He usually meets a constable or beadle, a judge, and even the hangman. Still, we know that the wooden-headed hero can “beat the Devil,” so something as simple as escaping the law shouldn’t be too difficult for him.

Let’s watch this snippet from a Punch & Judy show as performed by Australian Punch Judy Man, “Professor Whatsit,” also known as Chris van der Craats. I have a particular fondness for van der Craats’ puppets. He makes them himself and they are some of the best out there. These puppets have the look and charm of the figures used in the earliest Punch performances. You can buy Professor Whatsit’s hand-made puppets on his Web site.

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