Wednesday 22 November 2017

Punch and Judy show axed over domestic violence fears

The Punch and Judy Fellowship said it was disappointed
The Punch and Judy Fellowship said it was disappointed

A seaside resort has axed a Punch and Judy show over fears it trivialises domestic violence.

The traditional puppet show had been planned to feature as part of the Barry Island Beats, Eats and Treats festival in south Wales next month.

But it faced opposition from a number of officials who said the performance would be at odds with the county council's standpoint on domestic violence - including objections from local councillors.

Ian Johnson, of Barry Town Council, which agreed to give £2,500 to support the festival, said: "The issue was that it was treading a fine line between entertainment and recognising that some of it was inappropriate.

"It has elements of hitting people and that is not something that we would want to promote.

"If the county council allowed the puppet show to feature at the weekend event in Barry it would have been at odds with its and the Welsh Government's standpoint on domestic violence."

The Punch and Judy Fellowship said it was disappointed that several councils across the UK had taken similar steps over the past few years.

A statement on the group's website said: "Punch and Judy does not encourage wife bashing - no child of a Punch and Judy man has ever grown up to be violent - and they've seen hundreds of shows.

"If Punch and Judy should be banned because of violence then so should performances of Shakespeare as well as Tom and Jerry cartoons.

"Banning Punch would be like banning wine gums because there are alcoholics in the world."

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: "While planning events for the weekend, a host of traditional activities have been considered to ensure the event caters for everyone. The Punch and Judy show that had been considered will not be taking place."

Barry Island Beats, Eats and Treats festival takes place on June 4 and 5.

Press Association

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