A splendid first set of puppets

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A splendid first set of puppets

Postby Chris » 12 Sep 2007, 17:37

Have a look at these Puppetree figures on ebay:<hr><a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/Professional-Lightweight-Punch-and-Judy-Puppets_W0QQitemZ270164972514QQihZ017QQcategoryZ729QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem"> CLICK HERE</a><br>


When bought new I am told that the Punch cost £65 and the other characters £60 each. They may cost more now.
Last edited by Chris on 14 Sep 2007, 10:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lesclarke » 13 Sep 2007, 18:21

They are very nicely modelled, and ideal for air-travelling profs who like to travel light. I once considered going down the latex route.

For collectors I suppose they should consider the possibly uncertain lifespan of latex fugures.

It says they have been well used and are scuffed and suggests they could be touched up with a paintbrush, but how succesful would this be?

Has anyone experience of painting latex type puppets and advice on the method and type of paints one should use.
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Postby James » 13 Sep 2007, 19:30

Acrylic paint, slightly watered down to avoid heavy brush marks works very well on latex. It is very easily touched up. Windsor and Newton make a particularly good flesh colour if wanting to save time. Have made a number of latex headed puppets in the past few years.

Your tip of adding talc powder also works to prevent shine.
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Postby Chris » 13 Sep 2007, 22:40

James is right, there is no problem in painting latex heads and acrylics are the best choice.

Where I would differ is I would certainly not use watered acrylic which reduces its covering power, strength and adhesion. Acrylics should be thinned with an appropriate acrylic medium available in either gloss or matt.

But if you wish to reduce brush marks then use a very small amount of water with a couple of drops of water tension breaker, or a very, very tiny drop of washing up liquid, added to the chosen medium. Alternatively buy the Flow formula acrylic paint in the Cryla range which is specially designed to give a flat covering without texture.
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parson

Postby Trev » 14 Sep 2007, 07:51

I'm interested to see the Parson in this set. Does anyone still use one?
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Postby lesclarke » 14 Sep 2007, 08:59

Thanks for the advice, I've used acrylic paint on latex masks and it's been fine, but always wondered if it might just flake off at some time in the future, and wondered if there was some specialised latex media.

Parsons, vicars etc, yes I've always wondered why they are only rarely seen as part of old sets when they present obvious comic opportunities.

Someone, I can't remember who, once expressed the view that perhaps Profs needed to keep on the right side of the clergy so didn't make them targets, that makes a lot of sense.


I've converted a puppet into a vicar but not used it yet
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Postby Chris » 14 Sep 2007, 10:26

Trev - Surely you must have heard of Richard's abuse of the clergy? His Punch is discovered bashing the Bishop!

Les - surely the tradition is for Punch to be agin all who attempt to control him, the Wife, the Church, the Law and the Medical Profession.
If there were the case that Punch Profs needed to keep on the right side of the clergy then surely there would be an equal, if not greater, argument for not making the policeman a target?

I think that the parson has largely been abandoned for the same reason as the hangman, he is no longer relevant. There was a time, not that long ago, when the vicar or minister had great standing and influence in a community and they expected to be treated with great respect. It was therefore much fun to see Punch behave outrageously to a pompous representative of the breed.
Today there must be many urban kids who have never had any contact with the clergy and who don't know what they are or what they represent.
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Postby Nick Jackson » 14 Sep 2007, 17:32

Chris wrote:Punch is discovered bashing the Bishop!

ROTFL
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Postby Chris » 14 Sep 2007, 17:50

So?
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Postby David Wilde » 14 Sep 2007, 20:37

Dirty minds at work I think Chris!
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Postby lesclarke » 14 Sep 2007, 22:10

Chris, I was thinking about the days of travelling Profs who would arrive in a village and seek out the local Vicar and Schoolmaster, who may even be the same person, with the aim of a show for local kids, or just sussing things.

The Profs may have even seen the Vicar as a source of a bit of food and support and so didn't take the line of making him a fugure of fun and losing his support, as I said someone once offered me this theory when I questioned why such a potentially good target for Punch had never been widely used.

I'd guess that Profs tried using the Vicar, but despite seeming to have great potential, the Vicar chracter never really developed enough to hang on to his spot. Puppets obviously fall from use when they lack relevance, and I'm always surprised how often the Beadle still survives.

So, how has the Beadle survived? Coincidentally, one of the Beadles main character traits is his pomposity, something easily portrayed in a Vicar character. In Leach p161 the pic of the Parson has eyes raised and very small mouth. I interpret it as suitable for expressing an "Oh, no,no,no,no!" type attitude.
A suitable target for Punch. "Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes!" as he gets whacked.
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Postby johnstoate » 15 Sep 2007, 00:32

This bit bout staying on the right side of the clergy might perhaps have something to do with the old (MYTH?) that punchmen couldn't be stopped from performing in a churchyard ? - And as for the minister being out of favour, - Who else is game for having the local mullah or imaan make an appearance?? :lol:
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Postby Chris » 15 Sep 2007, 09:08

I think, Les, that you are perhaps inventing your own history. Still, why not? Everyone else does.

Probably the Clergyman hasn't lasted as a traditional character because he doesn't appear in any of the major (written) scripts - Collier, Mayhew or Brough. Each time someone re-invents Punch they go back to these for their basic cast list. So the parson has always been an optional extra.

The longevity of The Beadle is probably for a similar reason - he appears in the two best scripts.
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Postby lesclarke » 15 Sep 2007, 11:31

I'm not claiming it as history Chris, as I said one theory was just someone else's opinion/guess, and as I said the latest bit was my 'guess.'

Perhaps every 25 years or so we should have a 'census' of characters in regular use, and then we could see trends. With Punch having a bit of a revival in recent years the trend may be to revive characters that have gone out of fashion, that's just another 'guess.'
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Postby Chris » 15 Sep 2007, 12:49

I don't really there think is so much change really. Of course Punch men have always introduced topicality and novelty - batman, Mr Blobby, a character from Star Wars, whatever. Occasionally a novelty is so good that it sticks as in the case of Joey the Clown and the Crocodile.

But by and large the uniqueness of the Punch show is the resilience of the core cast list and the core storyline.

I think a lot of the lesser characters where "pushed" by Edwin during the Supreme years, since he wanted to sell more and more puppets - and of course the seaside beach shows were in full swing and profs wanted to novelty for changes of programmes. So we go the Tony Green novelties added.

The trend of the past few years has perhaps been to streamline - to drop some of the characters. Fewer profs use the hangman or the black man, many do not have a dog and quite a few shows don't have the doctor. Even the devil has gone from many a show.

Of course parallel to this we have the addition of totally new characters, many from television or from the newspapers, anything from the Christmas appearance of Santa to the extraordinary topicalities in the Richard Coombs spectacular.

Of course the growth of not only the Covent Garden gatherings, but also Punch festivals across the country will certainly encourage us to try new things: To add new characters, new routines and more elaborate furnishings to decorate the playing area.

Is all a good thing - it shows we care. If we were just a job we would stick to a proven formula. But to most of us it is also a hobby (or obsession - according to a wife's point of view) and thus we are never content unless we are changing something.

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