An Evening With Jo’s Punch & Judy Show
That lovable English rogue, Mr Punch, will be 360 years old this year – born (they say) on 9 May 1662 in London’s Covent Garden. ‘Professor’ Jo Hadley invites you to an evening with his own Punch & Judy Show to help celebrate and further promote this little event in our collective cultural calendar. After all, it’s quite something to still be playing the lead role in one of the world’s longest running dramas!
Amateur puppeteer Jo Hadley will be co-hosting an informative talk and full show with the Finn-Brit Players at Helsinki’s NoName Theatre on Friday 1 April (7pm to 9pm). As an ‘early start’ to Mr Punch’s big party year, Jo debuted his take on the show at the Sampo International Puppet Festival in Helsinki last year. This summer, he plans to go ‘The Full 360’ by taking the developed show around as many parks and places as the powers of this world will let him, until returning once again (full circle!) to the Sampo festival this August. And who knows where to party on to from there!
Jo’s introductory talk will open up the show’s fascinating social backstory, which he discovered while researching and producing it. From a wider history of European puppet theatre, Punch & Judy is an evolving classic of English pantomime and clowning. Emerging as London street theatre, its characters and simple slapstick drama of apparent nonsense provide explorable portals not only to the past, but also to contemporary topics within urban culture and even satire. And it’s still making children and adults laugh today!
The little drama itself? A sleepy Mr Punch returns from his day at the seaside and finds himself left holding the baby while Judy makes his sausages. What could possibly go wrong? Crazy encounters with a policeman, a crocodile, his doctor and the local authorities follow. Discovering the Devil has taken Judy, Punch enters his final conflict and reckoning. With a full cast of traditional characters, you’ll meet Joey the Clown, Hector the Horse, Hurdy Gurdy and Happy Mr Jones in the show. And, yes, there’s even a ghost! But only the preceding talk can hope to make any sense of it all and explain how the various traditions have been respected and adapted – “That’s the way to do it!”
After a 10-minute interval for celebratory birthday refreshments, the 35-minute talk will be followed by the 35-minute ‘full’ show (shorter 20-minute versions of the show are usually done for street audiences). Book early to avoid disappointment – limited seating for one night only!
About the performer
Jo Hadley migrated from the UK to Finland with his Finnish wife and family in 2002 to complete a doctorate in Sociology. Now a permanent resident (and still with family!), Jo is a former police officer from Essex who moved on from an academic career as a social researcher and into children’s education in 2017. Combining his somewhat unexpected CV alongside a longstanding involvement in community performances and running a local cricket club, Jo finds himself on the cusp of trying something new but without entirely letting go of an urban ethnographer’s interest in street culture and authority figures.
ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Friday 1 April 2022 at 7 pm
10€ standard admission
... plus something in the hat for Mr punch!
Available HERE in our Holvi store.
Read more about Punch & Judy in the SHOW BLOG (coming soon).