Broadstairs’ new Punch and Judy performer Benjamin Hasker

This March, Broadstairs & St Peter’s Town Council announced Benjamin Hasker AKA Ben Bamboozle as 2024’s Punch and Judy performer for Broadstairs.


With a busy schedule ahead Ben was kind enough to take some time out and speak with us about this wonderfully traditional puppet show ingrained in British history and what you can expect to see from his shows in Broadstairs this summer.


How important is the history and the role of Punch and Judy to British culture and how did you feel when you were announced as the performer in Broadstairs this year? 

This year, Mr Punch is celebrating his 362nd birthday. May 9th 1662 is the earliest record we have of Punch in this country after Samuel Pepys made a note in his famous diary on a visit to Covent Garden that day: “Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants.”

Judy first started to appear in the show quite a bit later, she’s around 250 years old! Every year on the second Sunday in May, myself and other Punch and Judy performers from around the world meet up at the Covent Garden May Fayre to celebrate.

It’s a great honour to be presenting my show once again in Broadstairs on Viking Bay beach this summer. Punch and Judy has been on Broadstairs beach for many years with every performer having their own unique show and it’s lovely to be a part of that history.


What can readers expect to witness when you perform in Broadstairs this year?

CommunityAd Exclusive - Broadstairs’ new Punch and Judy performer Benjamin HaskerI present a traditional seaside Punch and Judy show suitable for modern audiences with all of the classic characters, including the baby, crocodile, policeman, skeleton and not forgetting the sausages!

Housed within a traditionally painted booth and hand-carved puppets with the distinctive sound of Mr Punch’s voice which is made using a device called a swazzle.


When will we be able to see you in Thanet performing? 

I’ll be at the Broadstairs Dickens Festival on 15th and 16th June and then Viking Bay Beach on 24th and 31st of July and in August on the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 15th, 16th and 21st, 22nd and 28th.  The showtimes at Viking Bay are 11:00am, 12:00pm and 1:00pm.


How can readers keep up to date with your latest news? 

I’m on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram, just look for Ben Bamboozle.

by Matthew Hemmings

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