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to think Punch & Judy was not the right thing!

(40 Posts)
nanaej Fri 21-Jun-13 18:18:24

I accompanied my DGD's class to a local residential care home/respite centre. They had been invited to see a Punch and Judy Show that was, for some reason, being put on at the home. There was obviously some sort of event going on as there was a maypole and flags set out too!

Anyway the children (6-7yrs) were all ushered into a room to sit on the floor and the puppet theatre was set up. Around the edge of the room were a selection of residents. Most had their eyes closed. One lady next to me, Hugarian I gather, was clearly in a fairly advanced stage of dementia. She kept calling out in Hungarian and sometimes held my hand or fiddled about with the bangles that I wear. She never opened her eyes. I almost got propositioned by one chap who held my hand and asked if I would be his friend. I said OK! The others were also in various stages of dementia. Most children really enjoyed the show, some hardly noticed the residents others watched them more than Punch and Judy! None of the residents appeared to respond one lady put her hands over her ears as the children shouted out responses.
AIBU to think this was an odd event to put on or was there a benefit to the residents?

FlicketyB Fri 21-Jun-13 18:22:44

Yes, and it seems very odd to mix residents and a class of young children to see such a thing as well

I do not mean children should not mix with older people in care homes but to bring both groups together to watch something like a Punch and Judy seems very odd.

Elegran Fri 21-Jun-13 18:26:57

Maybe they thought that the old people would remember it from their childhood? As they probably only saw Punch and Judy at the seaside it would not be one of their stronger memories.

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 18:47:50

Perhaps the residents would enjoy watching the children watching the show. It would have been decided whether the event would have been appropriate for the residents, surely? As Elegran commented, it's possible that it could be one of their stronger memories and encourage reminiscence for them.

nanaej Fri 21-Jun-13 19:21:01

I can see that it might jog memories...sadly it did not appear to! The children go to the home quite often to sing songs etc. but this time they were invited to see this show! If they had not been there the poor old P&J man would have had a hard time!

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 19:28:43

Perhaps it wasn't 'the way to do it', nanaej! I used to love Punch and Judy, didn't you? I think it was the crocodile and the sausages that was my favourite bit grin!

JessM Fri 21-Jun-13 19:42:18

I hate Punch and Judy. It's entertainment based on domestic violence.
I'd be really cross if my GKds had been subjected to this.
It does sound generally like an odd event in several ways. P and J maybe relate to reminiscence therapy? hmm

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 19:46:03

I know that now, JessM. And hopefully, if it was reminiscence therapy, it would only be where the older people had enjoyed shows at the seaside as children and not through their own domestic violence in later life.

Aka Fri 21-Jun-13 19:54:45

It's alarming amazing what some Care Homes/Residential Homes deem suitable. They now try to show that they are not just allowing residents to sit around the edge if the room in various stages of consciousness but that they provide a variety of weird stimulating activities for them....whether they want it or not.
I often take my PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog into local homes and you'd be amazed what is on offer. Zumba Zimmer was my personal favourite grin

Ana Fri 21-Jun-13 20:06:53

Actually, that sounds like fun, Aka! grin

I've always found Punch and Judy horrible, even as a child. I would imagine the afternoon was confusing to quite a few of those present.

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 20:14:45

Not all residential care homes are the same, thankfully. Although I'm sure that there are many that do not cater for the actual needs of the service users. sad

Nonu Fri 21-Jun-13 20:17:44

I think Punch & Judy is really beastly , not at all nice, wonder how it became popular ?

nanaej Fri 21-Jun-13 21:00:55

It was thoroughly enjoyed by majority of the least the message was clear: You must not hit people or steal things or you come to a bad end! To be fair in this show Judy got the better of Punch and law and order triumphed. It is about 300-400 year old tradition and I think it is like the ghoulish 'fairy stories' it helps children to explore fear and badness withing a safe context.

Hunt Fri 21-Jun-13 21:03:28

A lot of things were beastly in ''them olden days'' think public hangings. Punch and Judy just reflected the times.

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 21:04:25

....when crocodiles ate sausages.....winkgrin

nanaej Fri 21-Jun-13 21:08:11

and there were stocks too..that was an interesting discussion on the walk back to school. I think the kids thought they were a good idea!

Nonu Fri 21-Jun-13 21:09:08

well , I was not around in them olden days , so why perpetuate it , to me it is pretty ghastly.

Ana Fri 21-Jun-13 21:11:47

I just didn't like the puppets - they were so ugly and I found the frightening. And the squeaky voices...I don't think I took in much about the wife-beating etc.

Ana Fri 21-Jun-13 21:12:34

I found 'them' frightening.

glassortwo Fri 21-Jun-13 21:25:28

I loved Punch and Judy, wasnt it a big part of everyones childchild, well at least people of my age.

glassortwo Fri 21-Jun-13 21:26:59

I think the residents possibly related to this as part of their childhood.

j08 Fri 21-Jun-13 21:29:26

I would think the Punch and Judy show was chosen for that time because the children were coming.

j08 Fri 21-Jun-13 21:29:58

I hated P and J. But kids today seem to love it.

j08 Fri 21-Jun-13 21:32:17

It was probably hoped that the children's enjoyment would come across to the residents.

merlotgran Fri 21-Jun-13 21:32:42

I just didn't 'get' it. When they appeared at birthday parties I just sat there hoping it would soon be over.