Introduction | Judy | Baby | Punch&Judy | Constable | Joey | Crocodile | Doctor | Hangman | Devil/Ghost | Ending
The Constable (or Beadle) is a character full of his own importance and tries to arrest Punch, who keeps undermining his authority and eventually knocks him down. The two elements that appear in the scripts are the Constables persistence and the jokes Punch makes at his expense. What is important in this routine is that the constable repeat the words of Punch. There are two rhythms, the constable being knocked down and getting up again and the twoing and throwing with puns, the repitition works in with these well.
For example: I have an order in my pocket to take you up."
Lifting the Constable puppet up a bit higher makes it look as though it is puffing itself up with importance.
For the briefest of shows you could at this point skip to the Devil and thus make it very brief using only four puppets and the baby.
Mayhew: The beadle comes up saying "Hi! Hallo my boy!"
Tickner: The Beadle comes up after the doctor, whose body is left on stage. Seeing the body he asks Punch "What is the meaning of this, my fine fellow?" Punch replies that the doctor has choked himself on a stick of liquorice. The Beadle repeats this as if considering the evidence. "You'll have to answer this my man!" Punch: "Who are you?" Then replies that he is the Beadle and he's come to lock Punch up. Punch then says "Well let's see you do it, my boy." Obviously taunting the Beadle. "You must not talk to me like this." says the indignant Beadle. "You must not talk to me like this" mocks Punch. "I don't intend to put up with any of your nonsense." Says the Beadle. "and I don't intend to put up with any of your nonsense." Repeats Punch.
Edwin: This script uses the Policeman and he enters with a loud bellow of a few bars of the Policeman's March accompanied by the performer stamping his feet loudly inside the booth. Punch asks who he is and he replies "P.C. Fixem of Dock Green." (and a reference to PC 49, who as far as I know will have been forgotten by now.) he then says "Anything you say will be taken down as evidence." "Trousers" says Punch. Policeman: "Trousers indeed. (I presume audience laughter) This is a serious matter." He then wants to know whether he's seen Judy and the baby, bringing the audience in to offer evidence with Punch denying every thing. He then asks what Punch has done with Judy. Punch replies: "Well ... I did ... THIS!" and knocks down the Policeman. The Policeman gets up slowly rolling his head around to give him a groggy appearance. "You hit me! You can't do that! I'm a POLICEMAN! " "Yes I can!" and Punch hits him down again. Once again the Policeman rises slowly. "I'm not taking this lying down!" Punch says "Well take it standing up!" At this point I gather the Policeman may look at the audience "Take it standing up?" Bang, down he goes again.
Edwards: Glyn Edwards has a brief hide and seek routine with the P.C. looking for Punch and Punch hitting him from behind. Finally Punch gets caught and says he's going to take him to jail. "What for?" asks Punch. This gives the P.C. the chance to bring in the audience to provide evidence. I guess the theory is most children are natural dobbers. The P.C. then says "You've broken the law." To which Punch replies "I never touched it." (It's an oldy but a goody.) "You come with me when I count to three." demands the P.C. " A one, a two ..." And we all know what happens next.
De Hempsey: This Beadle starts with a "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!" form below stage immediately after Judy has been knocked down. Punch and the invisible Beadle exchange a few Hi! Hi!s before he comes up. When he does Punch hides and there is a bit of dodging about before Punch is caught. There is a bit of unravelling as above, this time using the beadle's name, which is Bumble (a la Dickens). After a bit of this word play there is the bit of business about the warrant to lock you up and so on.