Tag Archives: Covent Garden

That’s the way to do it (Samuel Pepys, 1662)

the-site-of-the-puppet-show-that-pepys-saw

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-polichinellefrom-pepyss-time

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

Since 1975 the event has been  commemorated by an  annual May Fayre and Puppet Festival held in Covent Garden on the second Sunday in May.