If you wait long enough, any and every subject from the past will find its way to the big screen. Coming next is a look at classic slapstick Punch and Judy puppet shows in the form of the new Australian movie, Judy & Punch. The first trailer for the film is out, and it looks to have all the quirks of a fringe indie festival film, with some historical elements and high production value. It stars Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak, Alice in Wonderland) as Judy and Quarry and Justified’s Damon Herriman as Mr. Punch–two puppeteers trying to bring their marionette show to a strange English town.
Around since at least the 1660s, Punch and Judy shows have evolved and survived like some kind of street Shakespeare. Ever changing to tie in the current politics or crisis of the day, the shows always feature Mr. Punch introducing the beautiful Judy, followed by antics including animal puppets like a crocodile, a dog, and a horse, and almost always a police officer or constable, a skeleton, and a baby. The slapstick includes wrangling an unsuspecting audience, displays of showmanship, puppets dropping the baby, a horrified audience, and one or more puppet murders.
Judy & Punch is directed by first-time director Mirrah Foulkes, with production design by Josephine Ford (The Quiet Earth, War Machine, Picnic at Hanging Rock), and costumes designed by Edie Kurzer (Picnic at Hanging Rock). Here is the trailer for Judy & Punch:
Judy & Punch is scheduled for release in theaters in the UK November 15, 2019. The studio has not yet announced a U.S. release date.