My father being a puppeteer meant that puppets were around me throughout my childhood. I began a small Pelham marionette collection of my own and became a regular visitor to John & Lyndie Wright's famous Little Angel Theatre in Islington where an exhilerating backstage tour 'hooked' me for good. I drifted towards the cardboard characters of the Victorian Toy Theatre melodrama during my teens and began learning the 'swazzle' - the unique instrument used to create Punch's authentic voice. Dad was keen to teach me the ropes so I suppose I followed in his gloves rather than his footsteps. I did my first Punch & Judy show outside Pollock's Toy Museum when I was sixteen. Thanks Dad!
My Puppetry (or Puppet) Hero
George from Rainbow!
If I Were a Puppet, I'd Be...
Mr Punch's Italian puppet ancestor - Pulcinella
More About Me:
After school I trained as an actor and have found Punch to be the perfect complement to this most precarious of professions. I have been 'swazzling' in the UK for almost thirty years now and have travelled as far afield as Japan to perform at several international/European puppet festivals. I am fortunate to have met/seen some wonderfully talented and original puppeteers along the way who were a great inspiration to me - perhaps I'll bump into them again here on the Hub...........?
I'm a one-man show - which actually means you have to carry everything yourself!
I am a proud member of the Punch & Judy College of Professors; and also of the British actors union, Equity.
Yes very well... Thank you Will I see you at the May Fair this year ? I have had a good year so far Look out for Brains from thunderbirds...he is drinking Drench water end of May TV ad. I teach a lot now ...but still do the party shows when called for. And I can be found at the Little Angel Theatre, more often than not !!
The Punch profs become a stronger presence here every day, as it should be. Robert, your father was good enough to exchange some emails with me a few years ago, and I hope he is well. Do you yourself get to the States to perform these days? I keep a calendar of US performances at punchandjudy.com. (Though the actual calendar is due for some serious updating!)
Sean K. in NY
Thank you, Robert; wish I could have attended the May Fayre as it sounds like a great success. Chris Van der Craats of Australia mentioned your May Fayre show at PunchAndJudy.com. I love that the playing area in your booth has not only a backdrop with a window view, but two decorated side walls AND a very classy ceiling!
I saw some amazingly well-preserved P&J figures circa 1872 yesterday and was even able to handle some of them... a very individualistic set, with most of the show intact. I'll add a link to your webpage at the US calendar/database. Hope to get a chance to see you perform soon!