• 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

Finding Joy  tours from September 2018: dates will be announced shortly

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 across Europe and the UK, including a successful run at Assembly for Edinburgh Fringe 2016. Praised by press and public alike for its consummate full mask skills, engaging storytelling, physical dexterity and emotional insight, the company continues to involve and engage audiences across borders and boundaries with its wordless theatre.

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

Production sponsors: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council.
Made in association with: The Hereford Courtyard and JABADAO.
Our 2017 visit to China was part funded through British Council’s  Connecting Cultures.
Programme sponsors: Adventures with Dementia

Sponsor logos

Production details


Aron De Casmaker: 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
Rayo Patel: Billy, husband Walter, male nurse, patient Agnes Bull, stroppy nurse

Previous tour cast members:  Nicky Fearn, James Greaves, 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: Aron de Casmaker
Technician: Laura Sprake
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


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 Had me hooked from beginning to end!