Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spring-Heeled Jack

"...Spring-heeled Jack became one of the most popular characters of the period. His alleged exploits were reported in the newspapers and became the subject of several Penny Dreadfuls and plays performed in the cheap theatres that abounded at the time. The devil was even renamed "Spring-heeled Jack" in some Punch and Judy shows..." 
"There is no one definitive "story" of Punch and Judy. As expressed by Peter Fraser in Punch & Judy (1970), "the drama developed as a succession of incidents which the audience could join or leave at any time, and much of the show was impromptu." This was elaborated by George Speaight in his Punch & Judy: A History (1970), who explained that the plotline "is like a story compiled in a parlour game of Consequences ... the show should, indeed, not be regarded as a story at all but a succession of encounters." The most recent academic work, Punch & Judy: History, Tradition and Meaning by Robert Leach (1985), makes it clear that "the story is a conceptual entity, not a set text: the means of telling it, therefore, are always variable." The story was intentionally episodic so that passers by on the street could easily join the audience during a performance (Crone 1058)."

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