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Features

Features

Meet a real Punch and Judy professor, let him introduce us to the characters, and explore the crazy world of seaside entertainment. And the time-honoured role of violence in comedy leads us to a painful encounter with a DVD of Tom and Jerry's greatest hits... (ouch)

John Styles: Punch and Judy Man

Over the past 50 years, John Styles has performed his Punch and Judy show everywhere from pubs to palaces, beaches to Broadway and house parties to Hollywood. John spoke to ICONS about his career and the history of Punch and Judy. Click on the question below to watch John's answers.

John Styles: Punch and Judy Man

Meet the Characters

Punch and Judy man John Styles has a large private collection of puppets, old booths, toys and ornaments related to the puppet show. Click on the characters below to watch him introduce them.

Violence and Comedy

If Punch and Judy seems a rather violent form of children’s entertainment, it is worth remembering that it isn’t alone in this. Violence in one form or another has been an essential element of nearly all comedy throughout history.

Violence and Comedy
Watch a Show

Watch a Show

In the unlikely event that you've never actually seen a Punch and Judy show - well, here's your chance!

Seaside Entertainment

Seaside entertainment is a very British tradition. As the Industrial Revolution got under way in the 1800s, working hours decreased and the introduction of Bank Holidays meant that workers had time to take trips to the beach. New railways also cut the time it took to get to coastal towns and resorts began to introduce amusements to entertain visitors.

Punch Magazine

Punch Magazine

Poking fun at leading figures of the day is nothing new: 'Punch' magazine did exactly that every week from 1841-1992 and 1996-2002. It was decided at an early meeting that Mr Punch reflected the magazines cheeky content perfectly!

Changing Scripts

The Punch story borrows characters and themes from the Italian commedia dell ’arte and from British tradition. It is sometimes attributed to Silvio Fiorillo, a 17th-century Italian comedian, although historians have differing ideas about the origins.

Changing Scripts
Ten things...

Ten things...

Many people are familiar with the striped tent, the puppets, the stick and the hook nose. But did you know...