Punch and Judy celebrate 350 years at the Belmont Festival
28th June 2012
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The Belmont Festival will take place again in the heart of Belmont Village in Sutton on the 15th July from 12 noon untill 5.00 pm. 

The Belmont Festival 2010 was attended by over 4000 visitors who came from the local area to enjoy the food, fun and festivities.

There will be a veritable extravaganza of activities and events to entertain all the family, including live music and dance shows on the main stage, numerous side stalls, a street market, a licensed beer tent, food for all the family, and our special guests Punch & Judy.

The Festival is a family fun day out for local residents, as well as a fund-raising event for our local charity, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.  This year the Centre for Molecular Pathology will specifically benefit from the Festivals fund raising efforts, which last festival was £12000.

The event is being organised by the local community for the local community. 

The Festival will be one of the main event in Sutton’s Take Part Take Pride programme, which runs throughout the summer.

Find out more about the event at www.belmont-festival.co.uk or visit the Belmont Festival facebook page.

Mr Punch has been crying “that’s the way to do it” long before his first appearance at the Belmont Festival in 2010.

He was first mentioned in the diary of Samuel Pepys in 1662, when he enjoyed “an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best I ever saw…”

In Pepy’s time Mr Punch was a stringed marionette called Pulcinella, but he has evolved over centuries into the stick-wielding hand puppet now so familiar with family festivals and seaside resorts.

Celebration for Mr Punch has been going on since May, with the Big Grin taking place nationally. The V&A museum of childhood has commissioned an exhibition of photographic portraits, and the Brighton fishing museum  has opened a permanent Punch & Judy display on the site where shows have been given since the 1830’s.

So, with the summer season in full swing, and Mr Punch preparing for his stint at the Belmont Festival, how he survived to the modern age?

Punch & Judy routines have adapted to keep with modern times, and the social age. What was funny in Victorian times is no longer funny in the eyes of the modern audience. These days Mr Punch is more likely to include youth crime and the financial crisis. 

Topical sketches include a health & safety officer that ends up in the sausage machine, with the baby now named asbo.

With Punch and Judy acts taking part in the recent jubilee celebrations, and now taking his place in the children’s area at the Belmont festival, he looks forward to Mr Punch lasting another 350 years!


Belmont Festival: www.belmont-festival.co.uk, www.facebook.com/BelmontFestival

Royal Marsden: www.royalmarsden.org/cmp

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Brenda K

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I am Brenda Knight and I run thebestof sutton which is a great privilege for me as I get to meet all the best businesses, organisations and people that work and live within the Borough of Sutton. Come...

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