Brace yourself for Punch and Judy as you’ve never seen before.
Beginning with the traditional seaside set-up – Punch comes home to Judy, Judy gives Punch their baby to look after, Punch misbehaves horrendously – things quickly escalate to a point beyond imagination as Punch embarks on a murderously salacious adventure to indulge his every fantasy. Be warned: these fantasies will plough through any sensitivities without remorse. Controlling the obscenity in an exaggerated, almost pantomime style, the effect achieved is more entertaining than offensive for the most part. Thorpe’s jokes balance the line between tongue-in-cheek and disrespectful, thanks to the emphasis on the superficial nature of every character. Both make-up and costume are befitting of a puppet show parody, with gaudy gingham and painted faces that brings giggles from the word ‘go’. Costume and character changes are smooth throughout and I particularly enjoyed the traditional clanging sound accompanying each moment of slapstick, an homage to the original puppet show. Brent Thorpe is simultaneously likeable and ridiculed as a hopeless Mr Punch ruled by his impulses; solo cabaret-style performances from supporting characters feel slightly superfluous but are well performed and entertaining nonetheless.
A racy adventure through the unexplored insecurities of this fictional character, The Fabulous Punch And Judy Show is a very original and entertaining take on one of the greatest of British traditions. If you’re passing by then drop in – but brace yourself for Punch and Judy as you’ve never seen before.