That’s the way to do it! Yarmouth Punch and Judy show stars Simon Cowell

15:01 21 August 2012

Punch and Judy given a modern twist.

Punch and Judy given a modern twist.


Punch and Judy’s 350 year anniversary is being celebrated in modern style by throwing Simon Cowell, Prince Harry and Boris Johnson into the scrap.

A team of comedy writers from British channel Gold have reinvented the iconic British classic and are inviting comedy fans, families and anyone up for a laugh to its free showing of Punch and Judy Rebooted, in Great Yarmouth’s Sea Life Centre Gardens, Marine Parade, on Thursday August 23, from 12pm.

The show, which will tour the UK throughout August, has been designed to engage parents as well as children.

Set in modern day Britain, it gives Punch and Judy a contemporary edge and satirical spin, reflecting the dynamic of the original UK performances back in 1662.

Punch has been transformed into a tracksuit wearing benefits cheat who’ll do anything to avoid work, while the other is a wannabe WAG who has maxed her credit card buying clothes she can’t afford.

But Punch is no longer a wife beater, and The Baby doesn’t get dropped on its head.

Replacing the traditional visit from The Devil is Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as Cleggy the Clown. The show’s satirical edge is furthered with new hate figures such as an EU Sausage Inspector, Longa the Loan Shark and a “famous female pop star” who collects children.

There’s a cameo from a “sexy superhero” Prince Harry - who rescues The Baby from the ageing pop star - a “bumbling blonde policeman” called Boris Johnson and, when Punch ends up in court, he gets served with showbiz justice from pop guru Simon Cowell.

A spokesman for Gold said: “We commissioned the re-booted show following a survey of 2,000 British parents which found that over half believed the traditional Punch and Judy was too both long for modern children’s attention spans and out of date.

“The findings revealed that jokes around domestic violence and baby cruelty were a major turn-off for 40pc of parents whilst one in five believed the show could even cause nightmares.

“We decided Punch and Judy needed a new look and more up to date material. So we got award winning sitcom writers John Phelps and Gary Lawson – the writing team behind hits such as My Family, Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds of a Feather – to reinvent the slapstick show for today’s audiences.”

Steve North, general manager of Gold said: “Punch and Judy are quintessentially British and hugely important part of our culture. This project is all about preserving that culture and introducing it to a new generation.

“It is important to note that this is not a politically correct makeover – indeed the new show is just as anarchic and funny as it has always been, it is simply a modern day version with modern day themes that we can all relate to.”

John Phelps who co-wrote the show, said: “The challenge was to retain the core knock-about, slapstick appeal which we have all come to know and love whilst modernising the show in a way that would appeal to both kids and their parents.

“With subject matters ranging in scope from the X-factor to the recession, reality shows and e-bay through to fashion and politics we hope we have achieved that balance.”

Punch and Judy Rebooted will appear at Great Yarmouth’s Sea Life Centre Gardens, Marine Parade on Thursday, August 23. Show times will be at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm – free to all.

The show will also be available to watch on Gold’s website at Gold’s Facebook page


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