That’s the way to do it

May 9th – On this day in 1662, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary:

“Thence … into Covent Garden to an alehouse … and … to see an Italian Puppet Play, that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw … .  So to the Temple and by water home, and … in the dark there played upon my flageolette [a type of flute], it being a fine still evening … ”.

A more than usually sinister Polichinelle,from Pepys's time

A more than usually sinister Polichinelle,from Pepys’s time

One of the characters in the show that Pepys saw was Pulcinella, now  Punch, as in “Punch and Judy”.

In 2012, the 350th anniversary of the performance was marked  in Covent Garden by a “Punch and Judy” festival, attracting  performers  and audiences  from all over the world.

The site  is passed on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” standard walk.

Further details of all our walks are available in the Our Guided Walks section. To book, please use the website’s Contact/Booking form, email lostcityoflondon@sky.com or phone 020-8998-3051.

The site of the puppet show that Pepys saw

The site of the puppet show that Pepys saw

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