File puptcrit/puptcrit.0603, message 184

Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 23:15:28 EST
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Punch and Judy ban on Bin Laden **


That news article was from last summer and certainly made its way around the 
Web.   The Punchman in question was actually Brent de Witt from Sarasota, 
Florida, who trained for a while with Percy Press, Jr.   I've seen Brent's show 
(in Florida) with Saddam and Al Gore as puppets in the cast, and last May I saw 
a P&J show in London with Tony Blair.   There's also a rumor that the 
well-received special show Glyn Edwards and Martin Bridle worked on, in which Osama 
bin Laden features towards the end, may be revived again soon.

It's never been clear who actually complained, if anyone really did, about 
Brent's show, nor why they complained.   However, certain characters and 
elements in the Punch & Judy show have controversial from time to time, depending on 
local tastes.   Frank Burns of North Carolina lamented to me that he has known 
parents to pull their children away from his performances once he puts the 
Devil puppet up, because the very appearance of the Devil obviously means that 
the entire show is Satanic and that Frank is indoctrinating children into the 
cult of Lucifer from the ninth level of his little puppet booth.

Some Punchmen defended Brent last summer; some condemned him for possibly 
making life harder for Punch puppeteers all around.   One line-- mine at the 
time, I think-- was somewhere in the middle: that there was nothing wrong   with 
Brent having used the puppets to begin with, but that it was probably better to 
have simply put them away after he was asked to without talking to the 
newspapers about it.   Now, that may not seem very brave, but it was considered 
practical, as the more people think there is some controversy with the Punch & 
Judy show, the less likely that it will be hired for events.   It's the 
controversy that gets remembered, usually, rather than the facts.   

This might even seem to be borne out by the original article, which didn't 
explain who might have made the complaint, or how many complaints might have 
been received... and didn't even get the performer's name right!

And this reminds me I have to get Paul Zaloom's NY Karagoz information up on 
the Punch & Judy calendar, now that I've gotten the notice from Great Small 

Sean K.

In a message dated 3/19/06 10:51:21 PM, writes:

> ** Punch and Judy ban on Bin Laden **
> A seaside Punch and Judy man is banned from using Saddam Hussein and Osama
> Bin Laden puppets.
> < >
> _______________________________________________

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