Free Punch and Judy show for hire to Northamptonshire charities

Irthlingborough man Peter Barratt is offering his Punch and Judy shows for free to good causes and charities in Northamptonshire
Irthlingborough man Peter Barratt is offering his Punch and Judy shows for free to good causes and charities in Northamptonshire

A management accountant from Irthlingborough has bought his own booth Punch and Judy and is now offering his services for free to charities and good causes in Northamptonshire.

Peter Barratt, said he has always loved watching Punch and Judy shows and after he moved to working part-time last year he indulged himself and bought a handcrafted professional Punch and Judy booth – complete with the iconic puppets.

Mr Barratt said: “They were made by one of the best Punch and Judy puppeteer makers in the UK and are made from hand carved wood and clothing.”

He is now hoping to take the booth out on the road, specifically to perform at events organised by charities and good causes in the county.

Mr Barratt added: “At present I am very much an enthusiast and I feel I need to do some live shows for the experience.

“I have a 10-minute script at the moment, but I think for a proper show it needs to be more like 20 minutes, so that is something I am working on.”

I have yet to master the swazzle!

Peter Barratt

Punch and Judy shows have attracted criticism in recent years for supposedly trivialising domestic abuse – particularly because Punch has always been traditionally very happy to attack his wife Judy with the slapstick.

Defenders of the traditional show say the violence is cartoonish and very obviously unreal.

However, Mr Barratt said his script sidesteps the issue by having a new story about the Crocodile – another of the staple characters – making off with Punch’s sausages.

He added: “I would like to be contacted by any groups who would like me to perform.

“I cannot agree to do them all, but all the professional guys say that only through experience of the shows can you increase the skill sets.

“I have yet to master the swazzle, for example!”

To contact Mr Barratt, email pnbarratt@ntlworld.com