The George Speaight Punch & Judy Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This print published by Edmund Evans, Ltd. and drawn by Nina K Brisley in 1932 is entitled “Children at a Country Fair” and was produced for Child Education Publications as a fun way to encourage youngsters and their families to attend county and local fetes and fairs.
Such events are deeply entrenched in the English tradition. So, it’s only fitting that Mr. Punch—perhaps the most long-lived fictional figure in theatrical history—should act as ambassador of the gatherings which have long served as one of his most popular performing grounds. Here, we see a Punch & Judy show (featuring Mr. Punch and Dog Toby) in mid-performance in the foreground of the print above the words, “Heigh Ho! Come to the Fair!”
A print like this depicted the innocent possibilities for entertainment available in Britain during a time when funds were limited and families were searching for low-cost fun.