Visitors pleased as Punch for return of puppet festival

Published Tuesday, 16th July 2019

Photo of Punch and Judy puppets

Come down to Southend Pier on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August to see some iconic British slapstick comedy in the 31st Southend Pier Puppet Festival.

This well-loved event takes place at the Pier head over the course of the weekend, with five expert puppeteers and their entrancing entourages performing each day, three shows per day.

Amongst the fun, various versions of Punch and Judy will be performed between 11am and 5pm on both days from puppeteers from across the South East

Jo Peek from Southend will be joined by Chippy Wood – who will be joining us for the 21st time - and Paul Jackson from Surrey, Denise Pettit, (Mrs Back to Front), from Kent, and Pauline and Derek Legg from Witham with their fairground organ, Bella. Newcomer to the festival Tony Drewitt will also be entertaining crowds.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “Puppet shows are the cornerstone of British slapstick, as I’m sure we all remember seeing a puppet show as a child or even later in life.

“The annual Southend Pier Puppet Festival is always very popular with residents and visitors, and this year we get to welcome some new performers to the festival, which is fantastic. There is a real variety of performers and I urge everyone to head down the end of the pier.”

Each afternoon, Jo Peek will present a marionette showcase of six unusual puppets, and there will also be a colouring table and face painting at an extra charge.

The event is free but usual Pier admissions apply.