• Poster image - Danny and Joy jump
  • Joy gets her coat on
  • Little Joy and mum in the air raid shelter
  • Joy and Walter have a picnic
Finding Joy

About the show


Joy is 83 today: she's feisty, loves to dance, and is losing her memory. Her grandson Danny is rebellious, bright and always getting into trouble. When Danny decides to look after Joy, they discover a shared playfulness and growing love. But is that enough to face the challenges ahead?

Approaching the subject of dementia with humour and humanity, award-winning Finding Joy has performed to audiences throughout the UK and worldwide. Praised by press and public alike for its consummate full mask skills, engaging storytelling, physical dexterity and emotional insight, the production continues to involve and engage audiences across borders and boundaries.

Suitable for 12 years and upwards, Finding Joy is accessible to hearing and D/deaf audiences alike.

Made in association with: The Hereford Courtyard, JABADAO.
Production sponsors: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council.
Programme sponsors: Adventures with Dementia, Miracle Workers, Bancroft Gardens, Prime Life
Supported by: Gary Wiltshire

Production details


James Greaves Grandson Danny, A & E Consultant, Joy's mother, man in sewing shop
Bidi Iredale: Joy at 83, Joy's daughter, seamstress Betty
Louise Mellor: Joy's daughter, Joy at 25, Joy at 8, Sister McLean
Sarah Nelson: Billy, husband Walter, nice nurse, patient Agnes Bull, stroppy nurse

Previous cast members:  Aron de Casmaker, Nicky Fearn, Richard J. Fletcher,  Nanou Harry, Sarah Hawkins, Simone Lewis, Alan Riley, Rachael Savage, Mark Winstanley


Writer/Director: Rachael Savage
Composer/Sound Editor: Janie Armour
Advisor: Penny Greenland
Set/Costume Designer: Carl Davies
Mask/Puppet Maker: Russell Dean
Lighting Designer: Chris Barham
Choreographer: Rachael Alexander
Cine Film: Mike Jackson
Script Consultant: Janie Armour
Tour Manager: tbc
Technician: Stephen Robinson
Print design: alienpen
Set Builders: Gavin Lewery
Costume Supervisor/maker: Hannah Marshall
Wig Dresser: Alison Barlow



FUNDERS: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council,

CO-PRODUCERS: Hereford Courtyard


SUITABILITY: Over 12 years



Finding Joy has a short run at The Fringe and you cannot go home and face your loved ones with any excuse whatsoever for missing it. Have some compassion for your future memories. An absolute Fringe must!
Read full review here.

John Kennedy, Edinburgh Reporter


The company are quickly cementing its position as one of, if not the, leading full-mask mime companies in existence. Finding Joy was an incredibly moving and wonderful piece of theatre. Quite simply, a triumph.
Read full review here

Dan English, InQuire


Vamos Theatre's craftily constructed and crowd-pleasing piece...The show brilliantly conveys a sense of how frightening the world seems through Joy's eyes ... the company of four are always fleet and the storytelling is excellent.

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian


Life-affirming, funny, deeply touching and highly, highly recommended!
Read the full review

Katerina Yannouli, Plays to See


Skilfully handled without being overly sentimental...it's only a pity the company are up in Edinburgh for such a short run.

Alan Chadwick, Scottish Daily Mail


A genuinely original, beautiful piece of work which deserves to be seen by a wide audience BRIGHTON FRINGE 2014 ARGUS ANGEL WINNER

Duncan Hall, The Argus, Brighton


Heart-warming, yet heart-breaking at the same time, this stirring physical performance combines humour with sympathy for the challenges of an illness that I am sure many will be able to relate to.

Daisy Malt, TW Daily


Exceptionally funny, with a sizable helping of British humour, [Finding Joy] brings the serious issue of dementia to the stage

Sebastian Kramer, Offenbach Post, Germany


Finding Joy, now showing at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, can be summed up in two words: simply beautiful.
Read the full review here

Barbara Maxwell, What's On Stage


Deeply moving and amusing in its keen observation of family relationships, it’s a must-see of this year’s Fringe. Read the full review here

Jenni Davidson, Fringe Review


You learn more, and more effortlessly, from this production about positive caring than from a dozen textbooks. I urge all supporters of people with dementia to see it. This is positive caring in action: you laugh, you cry, you learn --- you find joy!

John Killick , Dementia Positive


What could have been a hard-hitting and emotional response to an evil and devastating disease has been turned into a joyful and resonant piece of theatre that will leave you as speechless as the actors.
Read the full review.

Liam Blain, British Theatre Guide


If you are using the booking codes SHAREJOY or 241 (RSC only), please see the booking conditions here



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Tue 02 Oct 2018 7:30PM
Cornerstone Arts Centre
25 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NE
Book Tickets: 01235 515144
Thu 04 Oct 2018 7:30PM
mac birmingham
Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Book Tickets: 0121 4463232
Sat 06 Oct 2018 7:30PM
Stantonbury Theatre
Stantonbury, Milton Keynes, MK14 6BN
Book Tickets: 01908 324466
Tue 09 Oct 2018 7:30PM
St Georges Theatre
Kings Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PG
Book Tickets: 01493 331484
Wed 10 Oct 2018 7:30PM
Sheringham Little Theatre
2 Station Road, Sheringham, NR26 8RE
Book Tickets: 01263 822347
Sat 13 Oct 2018 7:30PM
The Beehive
Dowell Street, Honiton, EX14 1LZ
Book Tickets: 01404 384050
Book online
Wed 17 Oct 2018 8:00PM
Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 020 8341 4421
Thu 18 Oct 2018 8:00PM
Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 02083 414421
Fri 19 Oct 2018 7:45PM
Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
Book Tickets: 01302 303959
Mon 22 Oct 2018 7:30PM
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QR
Book Tickets: 01284 769505
Fri 26 Oct 2018 7:30PM
Torch Theatre
St Peter's Road, Milford Haven, SA73 2BU
Book Tickets: 01646 695267
Sat 27 Oct 2018 8:00PM
Ludlow Assembly Rooms
1 Mill Street, Ludlow, SY8 1AZ
Book Tickets: 01584 878141
Mon 29 Oct 2018 7:30PM
School Drive, Bromsgrove, B60 1PQ
Book Tickets: 01527 577330
Tue 30 Oct 2018 11:00AM
School Drive, Bromsgrove, B60 1PQ
Book Tickets: 01527 577330
Wed 31 Oct 2018 7:45PM
The Corn Exchange
Market Place, Newbury, RG14 5BD
Book Tickets: 08455 218218
Fri 02 Nov 2018 9:00PM
Festival de Teatro de Badajoz Teatro Lopez de Alaya
Plaza de Minayo, Badajoz,, Spain, SN, 06002
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Tue 06 Nov 2018 8:00PM
Chelmsford City Theatres
Fairfield Road, Chelmsford , CM1 1JG
Book Tickets: 01245 606505
Thu 08 Nov 2018 7:30PM
Arena Theatre
Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton , WV1 1SE
Book Tickets: 01902 321321
Fri 09 Nov 2018 7:30PM
RSC The Other Place
22 Southern Ln, Stratford-upon-Avon , CV37 6BH
Book Tickets: 01789 403493
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Sat 10 Nov 2018 1:30PM
22 Southern Ln, Stratford-upon-Avon , CV37 6BH
Book Tickets: 01789 403493
Book online
Sat 10 Nov 2018 7:30PM
RSC The Other Place
22 Southern Ln, Stratford-upon-Avon , CV37 6BH
Book Tickets: 01789 403493
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Tue 13 Nov 2018 7:30PM
Conquest Theatre
Tenbury Rd , Bromyard, HR7 4LL
Book Tickets: 01885 488575
Wed 14 Nov 2018 7:00PM
PRIVATE EVENT National Star College
Ullenwood, Cheltenham, GL53 9QU
Book Tickets:
Mon 19 Nov 2018 7:00PM
PRIVATE EVENT Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Exchange Street , Aylesbury, Aylesbury, HP20 1UG
Book Tickets:
Wed 21 Nov 2018 7:30PM
Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
School Road , Taunton , TA2 8PD
Book Tickets: 01823 414141
Thu 22 Nov 2018 8:00PM
The Lighthouse
21 Kingland Road, Poole, BH15 1UG
Book Tickets: 01202 280000
Mon 26 Nov 2018 8:00PM
Parktheater Bensheim
Promenadenstr 25, 64625, Bensheim,
Book Tickets: 06251/93050
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Tue 27 Nov 2018 7:30PM
Theater am Ring
Romäusring 2, 78050, Villingen-Schwenningen,
Book Tickets: 07721 / 82-2525
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Thu 29 Nov 2018 7:45PM
Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Mold, CH7 1YA
Book Tickets: 01352 701521

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