I’m assured it doesn’t but consider this… did you know that a Punchman (here we go again… or woman!) can perform a show kneeling down, sitting down, hands over head, sitting on a golfing stick, hands outstretched, hands in front of the face or hands over head. A show performed kneeling down is small, intimate – best suited for the living room or pub. A show worked hands overhead produces a large show, best suited for the County Show. Does size matter….?
The size of show, or indeed the method of working, is no guarantee of quality but it does suggest how the audience will interact with the performer. Smaller shows encourage the audience to come forward, to the point they can look down the booth, over the playboard, to the working performer. Some very credible shows are presented this way.
Today though, most shows tend to be around 1.8m tall and house the worker as he stands and works hands in front of him. Audiences do approach the booth and some performers actively encourage it. Some performers cannot handle it and erect barriers to ensure the show is watched as if it were a television show. The biggest booths stand head and shoulders over every gazebo and can be watched from a distance, especially if a credible sound system is employed. There’s nothing as bad as watching a show where the sound isn’t crisp and discernible for both the performer and ‘his’ audience.
The old timers had little option but to present the show standing upright, hands over head, shouting and swazzling (Punch’s voice) in order to out-pitch all the hustle and bustle of the street. A visit to Google images is well rewarded. Modern electrical systems mean that any performer can ensure they are heard, providing of course they have been sufficiently well paid to buy something of quality. As to other permutations, that depends on what you wish to achieve.
Does size matter….? You bet it does!