BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Apology after Punch dealt KO blow
Punch and Judy show
Punch and Judy have been around for 300 years
A council has apologised for cancelling a children's Punch and Judy show after claiming it promoted domestic violence.

Newcastle City Council stepped in after performer Bo the Clown put on the show as part of a council-run summer event for children.

When he returned to repeat the show later in the day, he was told the Punch and Judy routine had to be scrapped.

Bo - also known as Derek Carpenter - was told by a council officer Mr Punch's treatment of his wife could cause offence.


There's a bit of knockabout on Punch and Judy but this is ludicrous

Councillor Greg Stone

In the traditional children's show the Mr Punch puppet regularly beats his wife with his 'slapstick' and murders his baby by battering it against a wall and throwing it downstairs.

Mr Carpenter, 55, who has more than 30 years entertainment experience, incorporates a small section of Punch and Judy into his clowning act.

He said children had the opportunity to interact and tell Punch his violent behaviour was wrong - unlike when they watch television.

He was booked by the council to perform at a special two-day event for children which used arts to explore difficult subjects such as bullying, racism and poverty.

A council spokesman later apologised for its reaction to the show, agreeing that Punch and Judy was not offensive.

Allay fears

He said the complaint came from a member of staff who had not seen the show.

Mr Carpenter described what happened as "unfortunate".

He said: "I will be happy if I can get to speak to the person who made the complaint and hopefully allay their fears."

Newcastle Councillor Greg Stone, said: "There's a bit of knockabout on Punch and Judy but this is ludicrous."

The council spokesman said: "A complaint was made to the organisers of the event and they decided to act on it believing that the officer was acting in line with council policy.

"While the officer concerned may have had genuine concerns of their own, they overstepped the mark in requesting that the performance be stopped and they were wrong to do so."


Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

23 May 00 | UK
18 Jun 98 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes