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to think Punch & Judy was not the right thing!

(41 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?

glassortwo Fri 21-Jun-13 21:35:49

I just laughed the whole time, could it be that I was programmed to seeing my father beating the hell out of my mother?

Marelli Fri 21-Jun-13 21:53:27

Even Sooty could be quite violent with his magic wand! Izzy wizzy - let's get busy! grin

Ana Fri 21-Jun-13 22:04:30

Poor Sue did always seem a bit browbeaten...hmm

nanaej Wed 26-Jun-13 01:14:37

Sooty was incredibly bossy!

kittylester Wed 26-Jun-13 07:09:05

I think last Friday was 'Nursing Home Open Day' day. There wasy bunting all over the place at Mum's home.

Marelli Wed 26-Jun-13 09:15:25

nanaej, were you having a sleepless night - hope you didn't have a nightmare about Sooty? grin

mrsmopp Mon 01-Jul-13 17:07:28

I enjoyed Punch and Judy too and I was aware they were puppets and no more scary than the fairy tales we had about wolves eating children, wicked stepmothers and so on.
Tom and Jerry were always bashing each other up and my kids were helpless with laughter watching them.
We knew Punch was a baddie and cheered when the policeman caught him.
It all ended happily though as did the fairy stories.
Snow White got her prince and the wolf got his comeuppance.

annodomini Mon 01-Jul-13 17:58:04

My GD1 used to get terribly upset when I put on Peter and the Wolf, no matter how much I explained that it had a happy ending. We never did reach the end as I had to take the (vinyl) record off.

janerowena Mon 01-Jul-13 19:16:55

What a shame, my stepfather used to be a punch and judy man, for charity! I hadn't realised so many people didn't like it. We all loved it. As we all had our own children, he became the main entertainment and I don't recall any child being upset by it. It is a very moral story - he is a very moral man so did tweak a few things. I wish he still had the theatre, but my mother said she was fed up with being a bouncer to five-year-olds.

Hunt Mon 01-Jul-13 23:05:10

dear Janerowena how lovely to have your own piece of history-a personal Punch and Judy man. We don't all like the same things and there must be hundreds of children out there who found Punch and Judy a great entertainment. On the beach for our holiday my sister and I always looked forward to the appearance of the Punch and Judy man.

janerowena Tue 02-Jul-13 16:07:31

His Punch used to call sausages 'saussy-ossy-ossages' and now there are 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grands all calling them that, much to the bemusement of OHs and friends. My mother used to rope us in to renew all the outfits as the puppets became scruffy. I was astonished by how much the theatre was sold for, it was very old. A fellow magician bought it.

Yes Hunt, the local P&J still appears several times a year in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds, and always has a huge audience. At various parties I went to with my children, I always found that clowns were a far greater source of anxiety for other children. I think I was always too curious to be frightened of anything much.

Elegran Tue 02-Jul-13 16:35:33

I always hated clowns, their expressions were painted on and never changed - very sinister. Not keen on them to this day, or to people in dark glasses whose thoughts are completely hidden from view.

suzied Tue 02-Jul-13 18:07:10

We had a P and J at our residents garden party on Sunday. It was hilarious. The kids were transfixed and there were enough adults only jokes to make it popular with all age groups. Why has everything got to be p c ?

GadaboutGran Tue 02-Jul-13 18:51:53

When I worked in the Bristol area in the 80s there was a brilliant programme called Magic Me in which children & the elderly (in homes & out) got to know each other in a planned way through various activities. It seems this event lacked any planning, preparation & possibly follow-up for both groups. The helper/s obviously weren't briefed about the purpose of bringing them together.
No doubt Magic Me has gone the same way as other socially useful & creative projects & youth services.

Backagain Tue 02-Jul-13 22:35:20

Punch and Judy's still going strong in Llandudno - after 150 odd years:

Both DS and I had memories of watching it there on the prom when we were small, and it is still very popular with children these days - they do still seem to love it, sitting on the ground in front of the booth screaming and shouting out at the puppets. It probably seems pretty tame to them, given the sort of stuff that appears on the box!