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1442Mel's Punch & Judy passion

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  • Terry Foreman
    Aug 2, 2013
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      “THAT'S the way to do it!” A familiar cry on British sea fronts for many years.

      Punch & Judy may seem somewhat dated in the computer age, but not to Wellesbourne entertainer and comedy magician Mel Harvey, who is spearheading a revival of the 350 year old art.

      His passion for Punch and Judy, established when he first saw the show aged 6 in Weston-super-Mare, has led to a household full of puppets of Mr Punch, wife Judy, the Policeman and the Crocodile.

      But he regularly packs them up and takes them for a trip to the seaside and elsewhere to perform.

      Mr Punch is known to millions for knocking things on the head – literally - hitting whoever crosses his path with his stick while uttering the famous refrain "that's the way to do it".

      But while there is no definitive Punch & Judy story, the show has changed in recent years to conform with more politically correct modern tastes.

      The typically violent play has been performed in England since 1662 - having originated in Italy - when it was mentioned in Samuel Pepy's diary.

      'Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw', wrote Mr Pepys.