This website and its content are copyright of the current committee of The Punch & Judy Fellowship. © The current committee of The Punch & Judy Fellowship 2009-2018. All rights reserved.

Home. Information. Events. Video Clips. Gallery. Hall of Fame. Shop. Join. Book a Punch & Judy show. Contact. Members Section. The history of Punch & Judy

Punch & Judy shows have been entertaining audiences for many generations.

The show as we know it today has its origins traceable to the Commedia dell Arte street theatre of 16th Century Italy and most probably goes back even farther than this.

You can read a definitive history of Mr Punch and find out much more about his tradition at our partner website Punch and Judy Online

The Punch & Judy Fellowship (known as the PJF) was founded in 1980, by the late Percy Press II, along with several other well known Punch & Judy performers in order to preserve, promote and protect the traditions of Britain's much loved national puppet show.

Click here to continue reading...

History of the Punch & Judy Fellowship

The founding members of the Punch & Judy Fellowship - Photograph taken in September 1980

The founding members of the Punch & Judy Fellowship
  • The development, preservation and promotion of Punch & Judy shows

  • Raise the public's appreciation of the show by increasing their understanding of its development, history and traditions

  • Foster friendship between all those who perform and enjoy Punch & Judy shows

  • Improve and maintain the highest standards of entertainment and performance

  • Encourage young performers, to ensure the future of the show
The aims of the Punch & Judy Fellowship Frequently asked questions

On the second Sunday in May, Alternative Arts hold the May Fayre in the garden of St Paul’s church, Covent Garden in the West End of London.  Here  there are many Punch and Judy shows to enjoy.

You may also like to contact those who are included in our Book a Show pages and ask about their scheduled public performances. Click here to search the list and you should find performers in you locality.

Events will be advertised on the Fellowship’s Facebook page.

  • Where can I go to watch a Punch & Judy show?

You can buy them from several of our members who make them commercially:

Bryan Clarke - Telephone: 01502 741351 Website: Click here

Teddy Corden - Telephone: 0115 958 1215

Brian Davey - Telephone: 01297 443728 Website Click here

John Styles Magical Mart  - Telephone:  0208 300 3579

                                       Website: Click here  Email: Click here

Gary Trimby - Telephone: 07762 286825 Email: Click here

Mel Harvey – Telephone 07860 485578 Website:  Click here

  • Where can I buy professionally made Punch & Judy puppets?

On 9th May 1662, Samuel Pepys jotted down in his diary the earliest reference to Mr Punch. After visiting Covent Garden, he wrote...

“Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants.”

This is taken to refer to a Punch show put on by an Italian puppeteer named Signor Bologna, who arrived in London earlier that year.  Little is known about the content of the show.

Punch & Judy performers see Covent Garden as being the home of the show and to commemorate it there is a plaque on the wall of St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden. On the second Sunday in May each year, performers and enthusiasts from around the world gather in the gardens of the church to celebrate Mr. Punch’s birthday.

Inscription on St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London
  • Why is Covent Garden so significant to the world of Punch?
John Styles has a large range of Punch & Judy puppets for hire - antique to modern, benign to grotesque.   Also Punch & Judy theatres old and new.  He also offers technical advice to film, stage and television productions.
John Styles - Telephone: 0208 300 3579  Website:  Click here  Email:  Click here
  • Does anyone hire Punch & Judy puppets etc?
  • Where can I learn Punch and Judy skills?

Glyn Edwards offers tuition at all levels in Punch and Judy skills based on his books 'Successful Punch & Judy' and 'The Art of Punch and Judy'.

Website: Click here

Mel Harvey – Telephone 07860 485578 Website:  Click here