Brit Dopers, are Punch & Judy shows changed in these PC times?

Brit Dopers, how do Punch & Judy shows fare nowadays? Is Punch still depicted as a hunchback? Does he still assault his wife and baby?

I hope the PC brigade haven’t taken taken all the fun out.

Oddly, the topic of P&J shows seems to pop up rather regularly on this board. Here’s a noteworthy thread on the topic.

Thank you, NDP.

I just read the thread that NDP suggested and, while it was entertaining, it didn’t answer my question. Do P&J shows still include the old traditional violent slapstick, or are the performers under pressure to clean up their shows and bring them into line with modern views of domestic violence?

Can throw no direct light re the question, I’m afraid; but it brought to mind, from the 1963 British film The Punch and Judy Man starring Tony Hancock, a sequence which absolutely cracked me up. The puppeteer (Hancock) and his assistant are performing “on autopilot”, meanwhile conversing sotto voce about other things. While Punch is beating the crap out of Judy with his club, one of the guys remarks earnestly: “All this violent stuff on TV these days is very worrying. It must set an awful example for the kids.”


My good friend Professor Queen Bee is enjoying considerable success with an authenticly misogynist P&J routine - a lot of bookings for boutique/retro festivals, and only once has she been asked to put up a notice warning the punters that the show features violence towards women. You know Punch gets his just desserts in the end? The show features violence towards all sorts of people, but only one group thinks equality means they should control what stories may be told.

P&J is an ancient art, but I’m pretty sure it was merely reflecting life right from the start - rather than somehow, through undefined means, causing the things it portrays.

When I was a kid, our elementary school library has a book of the basic P&J script completely illustrated all the way to his meeting with the hangman.