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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Punch and judy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gaddy
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Just now reading "Punch and Judy: A History" by: George Speaight, and I'm wondering if there is currently a source for punch and judy puppets or must modern day "professors" make their own?

Thanks in advance, from a budding Professor!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Geoff Felix might be able to help you.

http://www.geofffelix.com

Good luck with this, let us know how it goes.
David Pitts
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Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
TRUMPETMAN
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We need to get Tony James in on this. He hangs out in the LIttle Darlings section. I believe he has his Punch and Judy puppets custom made.

Are you there, Tony ?

Mark
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
gaddy
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It looks like a Professor must simply make his own Mr. Punch these days.
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kimmo
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Bryan Clarke still makes them -

http://www.bryanclarke.co.uk
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
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gaddy
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WOW! Bryan Clarke's puppets are incredible! Just what I was looking for!

Unfortunately his work is a bit out of my price range.....

Let's see... Where did I put those wood-working tools?
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Todd Robbins
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Well, if you do carve your own, here's some help:

http://www.punchandjudy.com/cvdcpunchset.htm
gaddy
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Todd thanks for that link -very helpful. I've seen that site before, but didn't come across that page.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Tony James
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It shows how often I venture down here. Only just seen this.

Since Punch began some people have made their own, through need or choice. Others have bought their figures. Sometimes performers have turned supplier and occasionally general carvers have turned their hand to supplying.

The market has never been really big though there once was a period from around 1970 for ten or fifteen years when the Supreme Magic Company developed quite a demand. This was met by three suppliers, Joe Parsonage 1968-74, Tony Green 1974-80 and Bryan Clarke 1980-95 when Supreme finally closed.

Residual stocks are still held by Magic Supreme of Cardiff, Wales run by Paul Anthony. Worth checking out for novelty figures.

http://www.magicsupreme.co.uk/

If you go into the main P&J site

http://www.punchandjudy.com/home.htm

you will find links to makers of figures. There are a number in the UK. Good luck if you try your hand at making. I know my limitations!

A set of figures can comprise whatever the maker decides so do establish what you want. A basic standard should be Punch, Judy, Baby, Joey the Clown, Crocodile, Doctor, Policeman and a supernatural - Ghost or Devil.

For completeness you can have a Black Man who usually follows the Policeman. If Punch knocks onto the playboard the trio of Doc. PC and Blackman you then have the lineup for the classic counting routine with Joey moving the figures around and confusing Punch.

You don't often see the Hanging Routine these days which is a pity because it is very funny. It requires a Hangman figure which is the only other figure apart from Punch to have legs. There's also a prop gallows and in the confusion the Hangman ends up being hanged instead of Punch, Hence the legs as the whole body becomes visible.

You could also have a pair of Boxers, traditionally one white and one black but you could have a matching pair of one colour. It's an add-on novelty and would normally be put in towards the end, after the hanging but before the Ghost/Devil.

Last time I checked I think Supreme Magic had listed in the 1980s over 40 novelty figures, singles and duos, some with an unexpected mechanical feature and very useful for ringing the changes at an event where the audience is captive for the day and won't keep coming back to the same old show.

All those figures are still out there somewhere, along with sets of main characters, waiting to come onto the secondhand market. Eventually they will.

Beware of prices of second hand figures on Ebay - they can be very over optimistic and whilst provenance is a useful guide quality can be variable. Dresses especially can be worn and properly made replacement dresses require a skilled hand if they are to work. They are more complicated than a fitted jacket and nothing like the T shirt shape you may find illustrated. Beware the existing dress which might be a home made replacement.

If you buy new from a reputable source, the head should be balanced and the dress serviceable. if you work occasionally this should last you a good time. But if you become busy, working 5 or 6 days a week, 4 shows each day, then you will need to find a skilled designer/dressmaker to produce replacements.

And the replacement needs to fit your hand and arm and once you have experienced working with bespoke dresses it becomes a different experience. Then you will want them all changing to custom made and that will become expensive!!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Tony James
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Quote:
On 2009-05-01 21:10, gaddy wrote:
Just now reading "Punch and Judy: A History" by: George Speaight................


Gaddy, this book is the definitive history of Punch and is quite scarce in the UK. Look at the colour page opposite page 113 and you will see Fred Tickner figures. I use Tickner figures just like these. Punch figures are very different according to the maker.

I mentioned in my previous post several figure makers and you can see examples of their work here:

http://www.smilv.com/index.html

You can see the differences. It is important for you to like your figures, really like them, if they are to work well for you. Any ambivalence about them and you won't work comfortably together. It's a sort of marriage and anyone who says after being together a while - "Time for some different figures" - has never really got on with them as they should. My figures are my friends. They earn me my living!!!

The other important aspect is the frame or booth. That too must work for you. I believe most people simply copy what's gone before. Think outside the box. Be original.

To give you some inspiration buy from the author "The Expanded Frame File" by John Alexander, published by the Arcady Press. This is an enlarged version of the original Frame File and is full of plans and frame information. I wish it had been available when I started out.

It costs £12 + £2 P&P = £14 for really priceless information for the budding Punchman.

Whilst at it look also in the Misc and Magic sections. There are some excellent original books here on Carmo, Kalanag and Goldin.

The Misc section covers Circus, Magic Lanterns, Panoramas and Dioramas, Zeppelins and John's early job as Head Doorman of one of England's most famous variety theatres, the Metropolitan Music Hall, Edgware Road, London. A fascinating read.

http://www.arcadypress.co.uk/
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
James Arnott
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The pics in the Speaight book are actually a mixed set, some Tickner, some Wal Kent, but yes, very charming figures.
Red King
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Interesting to come across a Punch and Judy thread here on the Café. I happen to be the grandson of Wal Kent (William T. King). My father had a full set of puppets and he built authentic stage/theatre and gave occasional performances for community events here in Ventura County (Southern California) back in the late sixties/early seventies ... don't think any of the Calif-kids had ever seen anything quite as violent as a P&J show as 'children's entertainment' back then ... nor did they probably understand a word of it, given the 'squeaker' used to provide the traditional voice of Punch! <smile>
Servante
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I did a P&J show for a few years in the 70's and 80's. Still have some of the figures downstairs in boxes. I designed and built some of them and students in a Punch class I taught designed and built some of the others. My Toby has a separate jaw that moves with his movement. I did the hanging bit and still have a plywood gallows downstairs as well. My figures are made of Celastic, which was a wonderful product that is no longer available (although I'm told there's a product being sold under that name, though it isn't as good). You would tear the Celastic fabric into strips, dip it in acetone and use it like papier mache'. It dried as hard as a rock, which was good for P&J puppets! I miss Celastic.

Still got my script somewhere. Audiences seemed to love ol' Punch. Wonder how much of the violence I could get away with THESE days!

-Philip
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