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The Punch Revue

Ronald Searle (1920-2011)



Pen ink watercolour and bodycolour

19 ¾ x 13 inches

Design for poster and programme cover for The Punch Revue, which opened at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, on 28 September 1955

'The Illustrators. The British Art of Illustration 1894-2020', Chris Beetles Gallery, November 2020-January 2021, No 138

The Punch Revue

The Punch Revue opened at the Duke of York’s Theatre, in St Martin’s Lane, London, on 28 September 1955. Instigated by Punch’s radical new editor, Malcolm Muggeridge, it was devised and directed by Vida Hope, with a book written by Ronald Duncan. Other contributors included W H Auden, John Betjeman, T S Eliot and Louis MacNeice, and the composers, Larry Adler, Benjamin Britten and Donald Swann. Two of Eliot’s poems from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats were dramatised and performed a quarter of a century before Andrew Lloyd Webber created Cats. However, the revue was badly received – being booed on the first night and considered to lack the bite of the magazine – and it closed after a short run.

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