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Professor Oliphant

Punch & Judy

Traditional Puppet Shows by Professor Oliphant

Craig Oliphant has been an educator and performer for over 40 years. He sings and plays ukulele with children in the River East Transcona School Division. He recently created a “Punch and Judy” puppet show for the United Kingdom Pavilion for Folklorama 2019.

Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr. Punch and one other character who usually falls victim to Punch's slapstick. It is often associated with traditional British culture. The various episodes of Punch comedy—often provoking shocked laughter—are dominated by the clowning of Mr. Punch.

The show is performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth, known since Victorian times as a "professor" or "punchman", engagements at private parties or public events. In modern shows, the audience is encouraged to participate, calling out to the characters on the stage to warn them of danger or clue them into what is going on behind their backs.

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