Monday, 30 July 2012

The Post-modern Punch and Judy

It's fair to say we've had a certain number of complaints over the main focus of Day 1 of "Little Pebbles by the Sea". But Hnaef was just trying to make the whole thing relevant. Frankly the whole historical concept of Punch and Judy is looking so dated these days.

So all that hitting with a stick and shouting "that's the way to do it" had to go. Instead, the first time he reached for the stick, Punch reflected that he probably had "issues" and got himself on an anger management course.

Then when Punch dropped the Baby, the puppetry Social Services arrived and removed him. This caused Judy to reflect that, in the circumstances, they might as well both go down the pub.

The inevitable string of sausages joke was rearranged to reflect modern nutritional insights. After two sausages, Judy added a number of lightly-cooked brassicas, grilled tomatos and baby sweetcorn, shouting "if you want to keep cholesterol down and ensure a high level of anti-oxidant in your diet - that's the way to do it".

Another twist came when Mr Punch attempted to hit the Policeman with his stick. The Policeman called for support, but due to a contractual problem his backup from G4S never turned up. So he Tasered Punch instead. We were reaally impressed with the resultant electrical convulsions - so realistic. Then we realised it was because Hnaef hadn't fully thought through his use of live electricity, and we quickly cut the supply.

The Hangman made his entrance, only to receive a lecture on human rights from the Shami Chakrabarti puppet. As the two of them rolled out of sight having a fight, the Devil popped up to take Punch's soul. At this point the Vicar appeared, and told the Devil that he was a mythical abstraction of the sources of misfortune and social malaise. But the Devil dragged off Mr Punch just the same.

Then Judy appeared with the Baby, announced her intention of becoming a successful small businesswoman and closed the performance with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Inspiring, egalitarian and instructive. I don't know what the problem's meant to be.

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