Last weekend in another guise (as a Pirate Captain) at the Fitzrovia Fete, I met Robert Styles (should I call him Professor?) as he was dismantling his booth. I’m not a great fan of the events that happen during these shows, but still love a puppet show, and am always impressed by the ability of magicking up a space for extraordinary happenings and packing it away just as quickly. Robert performed his first show as a younger man in this very spot outside Pollocks Toy Museum, and showed me a photo of that first performance.
This reminded me of my meetings with another Punch and Judy Professor, Lesley Press, whom I encountered by chance some years ago, who featured in my drawings, photos and an exhibition held in his old home in Primrose Hill.Leslie Press arrived at the exhibition launch, bringing his elderly Mr and Mrs Punch (carved by Fred Tickner) in a battered suitcase. Here’s Mrs Punch (aka Judy) and friend. That’s the way to do it!