CUBA JAUNT FOR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN

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[from Hackney Gazette]

CUBA JAUNT FOR PUNCH AND JUDY MAN

hg.editorial@archant.co.uk 18 April 2008
Konrad Fredericks
Konrad Fredericks

Punch and Judy have packed their bags and are off to Cuba.

Finsbury Park puppeteer Konrad Fredericks is taking them to an international festival in one of the few remaining communist nations in the world.

Mr Fredericks, otherwise known as Mr Punch, told the Gazette: “I want to go while it is still there before the Americans dismantle it.”

He didn’t think there would be a problem in the Spanish-speaking country as there are only five lines of dialogue in the show, which also features old favourites, the crocodile and the policeman.

The puppeteer, 65, added that he would be thrilled if Fidel Castro turned up to watch his act, but that was unlikely as the former head of state is unwell.

The trip to the International Puppet Workshop in Matanzas has been funded partly by the Cuban government – but it is not the most unusual place Mr Fredericks has taken his show.

He once took his tent theatre to frontier towns in Peshawar, Pakistan.

“The crowds there are the Mujahideen”, he said, “but I never had a problem there.

Mr Fredericks, of Wilberforce Road, decided to take his show around the world after finding that Covent Garden crowds were no longer interested after 12 years.

He was due to fly out yesterday (Thursday).

By ELEANORE ROBINSON

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