Old but valued….

I had a lovely comment in an email toady. A lady had enquired about wheelchair access to the theatre. I had replied that such access was limited and only possible if the wheelchair user could transfer to a theatre seat. I went on to explain that the theatre was built in 1958 and no provision for wheelchair users seems to have been considered in those days. I have looked into such things, but there is no way that the theatre could now be adapted for the needs of the disabled user other than pulling down and rebuilding.

The lady’s very encouraging reply was “The theatre is the most wonderful and charming place and my friend said she remembers going as a little girl and please dont ever pull it down or rebuild it for any reason!”

With the October Half Term over now is the time to put Alice in Wonderland into mothballs as I refurbish the puppets for the Christmas Season. Some of them will be in need of a little TLC I think.

Busman’s Holiday

I’m off on Friday for a weekend in Skipton for their bi-annual “Skipton International Puppet Festival” and have a rest from preparations for October and also for the Christmas Show.

Information at www.skiptonpuppetfestival.co.uk

“Tales from Alice in Wonderland”
Santa’s Magic Toyshop
opens 3pm Boxing Day

Preparing for Wonderland

The Summer Season being over I am busy planning for the October Half Term (Oct 23 to Nov 2) with a show featuring characters from Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, and with plans for the Christmas Show, “Santa’s Magic Toyshop” (Dec 26 to Jan 4)

Online Booking is available for the October Half Term at


and for the Christmas Season at


This weekend is the last of my Summer Season’s outdoor Punch & Judy appearances. This is for the Ruthin Donkey Derby held at Cae Ddol Park, Ruthin  (adjacent to the Rugby Club). It kicks off at 12 noon. I usually do two shows in the afternoon.  As well as Donkey Races I understand there’s also a Duck Race. This event was originally planned for June but was cancelled, or rather postponed, due to flooding. Entrance to this event is free – it is organised by Rotary and paid for by local businesses.

Summer Season 2019

Tuesday July 23rd to Saturday August 30th, Monday to Friday only

(Except no shows on July 28th and August 13th, 14th 15th)

This season features our popular production of “Hansel & Gretel”, a puppet play by Eric Bramall adapted from the story by the Brothers Grimm.

There is of course the Magic part of the programme where the children are eager to help Mr. Bimabamboozle with his tricks. And we end as usual with a selection of items from “Marionette Cabaret”

This show is shown each weekday, but during the Summer the theatre closes at the weekends. This is because as well as being one of Bitain’s leading Marionette puppeteers Chris also recognised as a Punch & Judy professor and is busy with this traditional form of puppetry at Agricultural Shows, Garden Parties, Flower Show and Carnivals through the Summer..

These Punch & Judy Shows are free, although some of the events do make a charge for entry to the show ground. In cas eanyone is interested here are a few dates where you can see Punch & Judy:

29th July Prestatyn Flower Show, Church Vicarage Gardens, High Street, Prestatyn.

28th July Llanfairfechan Promenade, near Pavilion Cafe. Magic and Punch & Judy Show around 2.30pm. No charge.

3rd August Dyserth Falls, Dyserth. Sows at 12pm and 2.0pm

4th August Beaumaris. Happy Valley Funday (just past the Castle).

11th August Llanfairfechan Promenade, near Pavilion Cafe. Magic and Punch & Judy Show around 2.30pm. No charge.

13th & 14th August. The Anglesey Agricultural Show.

15th August The Denbigh and Ruthin Agricultural Show

17th August Ruthin Flower Show

18th August Llanfairfechan Promenade, near Pavilion Cafe. Magic and Punch & Judy Show around 2.30pm. No charge.

24th August The Denbigh Show

25th August Betws GG Show LL214RA

14th September Ruthin Donkey Derby  (Adjacent Ruthin Rugby Club)



by Chris » 31 Mar 2019 11:25 am A young friend of mine, a would be Punch prof, is going to Turkey for a two week Easter holiday. He’s far more excited about the coming May Fayre Punch & Judy Festival in Covent Garden than his foreign holiday and every time he meets me he asks if I know how long before Covent Garden, and when I give some approximation he gleefully tells me to the exact day.
 In the 1980s I did visit Turkey since Istanbul was one of our ports of call when I was performing on The Calipso, a Greek cruise ship. I loved Topkapi, the palace which figured in a the film “Topkapi”, the classic jewel heist movie, and also St. Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum. Quite splendid!
I searched but never tracked down Mr.Punch’s cousin Karagoz in Istanbul, although I did find him in Greece. But that’s a story waiting to be written up for the PunchandJudy.com website.

This is Karagoz, a puppet folk hero in both Turkey and Greece. Unlike Mr. Punch who is a Hand Puppet this is a Shadow Puppet.


This is all just an excuse to remind you:-
SUNDAY MAY 12th, St Paul’s Church Gardens, Covent Garden. Mr. Punch awaits you.

by Chris » 07 Feb 2019 05:45 pm COVENT GARDEN MAY FAYRE


SUNDAY 12 MAY 2019


Dear Friends

We have great pleasure in inviting you to attend the 44th Annual Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival to be held this year on Sunday 12 May 2019 to celebrate Mr Punch’s 357th birthday near the very spot that Samuel Pepys first saw Mr Punch in England in May 1662.

The May Fayre will take place in the garden of St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2. The day will start with a Grand Procession at 11am led by the Superior Brass Band, followed by the Special Church Service at 12noon, and performances from 12.30 until 5.30pm. We are hoping for lots of sun and friendly crowds again this year.

With best wishes from Maggie Pinhorn, Amy Dyke-Coomes and the May Fayre Committee.

Please reply to The May Fayre Committee

c/o Alternative Arts, 530A Commercial Road, London E1 0HY

Tel 020 8800 6665 email info@alternativearts.co.uk


The Easter Production at the Harlequin Puppet Theatre will feature The Grand Puppet Circus, always a great favourite and featuring a large number of very unusual puppets. I always enjoy performing the Circus. Until then I’m also busy travelling around, especially at weekends, taking my Magic Tricks and Punch & Judy to children’s birthday parties.

I’ve always enjoyed birthday party work, it’s one of those things that haven’t changed since I was a child. The world may be full of technology, and children may well be more competant than many adults, but even so we forget that they are born with exactly the same imagination, curiousity and sense of fun and wonder as were their parents and grandparents. I find that children today are  much the same as always, and I’ve been performing for them professionally for the past half century. Children still respond to traditional children’s entertainment. They still laugh at Pantomime and Punch & Judy and Slapstick comedy, and still are fascinated by magic and illusion.

If you are interested in Traditional Birthday Party entertainment then you might look at


or for Children’s entertainment fundays and fetes.


LAST TWO DAYS OF HALF TERM SHOW Our Family Puppet and Magic Show runs until Saturday March 2nd with a Variety of puppet and Magic entertainment that wil excite the Children and charm the Adults. The show starts each day at 3pm and finishes just after 4.30pm. There is an ice cream interval in the middle and the show includes Mr Bimbamboozle’s Magic (with children helping) and a Puppet Play about a Silly King, A musical fantasy called The Handkerchief Princess, and a Marionette Cabaret showing just how the strings are pulled. The show is in the specially built Harlequin Puppet Theatre on the sea front at Rhos-on-sea (LL284EP). Seats can be booked via http://puppetshow.info or reserved by telephone 01492 548166 Prices are £6.50 for adults, £5.50 for children or senior citizens. We don’t charge for babies.


The Half Term Puppet and Magic Show continues until Saturday March 2nd. The first week has been relatively quiet with just a few families in each day. This has been nice, and as expected since the Welsh and English school holidays are not in sync for this half term. Many of our friends from Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and the Midlands who have been staying with grandparents for their holiday are going back today, while the local children are still in school looking forward to their holiday next week when we hope to see them at one of the Puppet Theatre performances.

The Little Ballet of the Handkerchief Princess has been proving very popular this year and I have had many pleasing comments.

The Silly King & the Wrong Wife

As well as the ballet fanstasy, The Little Ballet of the Handkerchief Princess the February Half Term Treat at The Harlequin Puppet Theatre includes the funny puppet play written especially for puppets, The Silly King and the Wrong Wife.

This rather old fashioned fairy story was written by an American lady called Edna St. Vincent Millay. It was originally called Two Slatterns and a King but since we realised very few people know what the word slattern means we thought it deserved a new title.

The King really is silly. First he says he’ll never ever get married, then completely changes his mind and goes looking for a wife. His idea of a wife is someone who is clean and neat and tidy, and good at washing clothes and cleaning palaces and cooking meals and making beds and ….  do you think he’s really looking for a wife? It sounds more like a servant doesn’t it?

The King

Anyway he goes about it in completely the wrong way, and he’s bossy too! Well he gets his deserts. There’s mischievious demon called Chance, and he can make everything go wrong, and he does.

Mistress Tidy

The King rejects Mistress Tidy, who is having a very difficult day, but is very impressed by Mistress Slut.

The King thinks he has been so clever and found the perfect wife to be his slave, but in the end it looks like he’s the one who gets bossed around and probably has to do the washing up!

Mistress Slut

This story was written with adults as much in mind as children. The moral of the tale is pretty universal but the language aimed at adults and older children would seem a challenge for the little ones. Nevertheless they usually listen attentively and are amused by the situation of the King being fooled, while the adults will probably enjoy the poetic and witty dialogue.