Norwich Puppet Theatre celebrates Mr Punch’s 350th birthday

17:29 27 May 2012

Celebrating 350 years of Mr Punch at Norwich Puppet Theatre, puppeteer Martin Bridle with Punch and Judy.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Celebrating 350 years of Mr Punch at Norwich Puppet Theatre, puppeteer Martin Bridle with Punch and Judy. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

Families enjoyed a picnic with Mr Punch to mark the 350th birthday of the famous puppet.

The special celebrations took place at Norwich Puppet Theatre, in Whitefriars, today and saw about 200 people young and old meet Mr Punch and join in with the fun, with both the morning and afternoon events being completely sold out.

Ian Woods, from Norwich Puppet Theatre, said: “Everyone saw a Punch and Judy show and sang happy birthday to Mr Punch. There was lots of puppet making and also a Chinese circus puppet show called Festival too.”

As a Punch and Judy event would perhaps not be complete without sausages, barbecued sausages were also on the menu.

“We feel we have marked Mr Punch’s 350th birthday with style and panache,” Mr Woods said.

“The weather could not have been better. Some of the children may not have seen Mr Punch before so it was great to be able to introduce them to a great traditional British puppet, and during the shows the adults were shouting along with the children and really joining in too! I think Mr Punch would have been impressed!”

In England the first recorded appearance of the character Pulcinella - later Punchinello and finally Mr Punch - was on May 9 1662 in Covent Garden, observed and noted by diarist Samuel Pepys, and this day is traditionally regarded as Mr Punch’s birthday.

• For details of Norwich Puppet Theatre events during half term visit

• Are you involved in a new theatre project in Norwich? Email reporter Emma Knights at

1 comment

  • It's a wonder that the PC brigade(Norwich City Council Division) haven't pulled the plug on Mr Punch and his battered crew.

    Report this comment


    Sunday, May 27, 2012

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