JUDY & PUNCH
It’s the mid-17th century in the tiny town called Seaside (incidentally, nowhere near the sea). Worn out and ruined by poverty and neglect, the lives of Seaside’s town folk have spiralled into violence, mob rule and God-fearing hysteria. Amongst the chaos, one glimmer of artistry remains: Punch and Judy’s marionette puppet theatre.While the townspeople revel in the drama and brutality of trials and executions, the charismatic Punch and his prodigiously talented puppeteering wife Judy endeavour to use their show to escape with their new baby to loftier means – a sentiment that is pushed by Punch and accepted by Judy. Judy is clearly the superior puppeteer and possesses the skill and dexterity of a great artist, but it is Punch who owns the limelight. A loveable narcissist with a dangerous penchant for the bottle, his ambition and egomania are the antithesis of Judy’s gentle, practical nature.
Punch and Judy’s first marionette show back from a hiatus is a triumph but Punch, spurred on by the show’s success and the brutal celebration of witch stoning day, succumbs to Seaside’s temptations and the local McDrinky’s tavern. Fuelled by ale and adulation, he is caught out by Judy in the tavern, heavily drinking and in the company of apparent mistress, Polly.
The next day, a slapstick chain of events comes to a tragic end while Punch continues his drinking binge. Hell bent on vengeance and retribution, darkness descends over Judy, who must right the wrongs of Punch and the entire town of Seaside in an act of vengeance befitting her true nature.