Punch & Judy
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Built in 1787, this listed building and retains much of the original brick and stonework. It's known as being one of the very few buildings in the area that escaped bomb damage during the blitz. This pub is 'world famous' and is located facing the west piazza and from this our balcony guests have the best view to watch the street performers. It is clear why a pub in London’s Covent Garden Piazza bears this name, for it was in Covent Garden that in May 1662 Samuel Pepys came to see the performance of ‘an Italian puppet play which is very pretty, the best I ever saw.’ This is the first record of a ‘Punch’ show in England; it was probably a novelty at the time.
Unfortunately Pepys does not describe the plot of the play he saw, but later in the seventeenth century there are references to the fights between Punch and his wife and to ‘a senseless dialogue between Punchinello and the Devil … through a tin speaker'. The basic plot was not actually printed until 1828, but must have gradually developed through many decades of oral tradition. Its publication in print did not fossilise it, for later generations of showmen have added characters and episodes, and modified and updated the dialogue to keep the humour topical. There is an annual gathering of Punch showmen in the grounds of St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, in May. The pub is a listed building, retaining much of the original ornate brick and stonework. It’s known as being one of the very few buildings in the area that escaped bomb damage during the blitz. The balcony overlooks Covent Garden piazza which is the perfect place to sit and watch the various street performers which make the area famous and popular among Londoners and tourists alike.
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