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The Revolutionary Punch

The Revolutionary Punch, manipulated by Josef Skupa, foretold on stage the breakup of Austria-Hungary. What is his story?

The cabaret performances of the “revolutionary” Punch, carved around 1900 in the workshop of František Nosek, caused a sensation on the local puppet scene at the end of the First World war. Punch himself, who throughout the war had appeared in Czechoslovak colours, provided moral support to the Holiday Camp Puppet Theatre’s grown-up visitors, giving them respite from the difficult wartime months. Thanks to his courage and satirical comments at the expense of the gentlemen of Vienna – created by Josef Skupa – Punch was able not only to reliably fill a theatre with an enthusiastic audience, but to “bury“, while singing, the Austrian double-headed eagle a month earlier than the official end of the war, when Austria-Hungary actually did fall apart.

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