The Devil and Mr Punch

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The Devil and Mr Punch

Postby James » 13 Dec 2011, 15:37

Punch on stage at the Barbican in a new commission in his 350th year. Now that's bound to bring a grin to a few faces!

Improbable are a very interesting theatre company, with a wide following. Im sure the show will be worth seeing, and a lot better than the usual Punch on stage disasters.

Improbable's The Devil and Mister Punch will receive its UK premiere at the Barbican Pit on 7 February (previews from 2 February 2012), 350 years after the puppet made its first recorded appearance.

Commissioned by the Barbican, Walker Art Centre of Minneapolis and Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, the piece was first seen in the United States earlier this year. It will now run at the Barbican until 25 February 2012.

Billed as a "tragical comedy of manslaughter and love", The Devil and Mister Punch is Punch and Judy, as presented by Messrs Harvey and Hovey - a pair of broken vaudevillians who have played them all and are now in the gutter.

In a small world writ large by a dog at a typewriter, the indefatigable Mr Punch is chased down for his crimes and put before the Judge. But it is creativity itself that is put in the dock and the whole show goes to Hell. Accompanied by a score of bass fiddle, gin parlour piano, metronome and bells, a set of fine made puppets and well worn performers battle it out on a gloriously theatrical wood-panelled set.

The Devil and Mister Punch is staged to coincide with the 350th anniversary of Punch's first recorded appearance. On 9 May 1662 diarist Samuel Pepys wrote he had seen "an Italian puppet play… which is very pretty, the best I ever saw."
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