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David Porter » Reviews » Finding Joy

Finding Joy

Vamos Theatre, at the Maddermarket, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 15 July 2013

A timely tale – Finding Joy – of an old lady, daughter and grandson was turned into an original, moving piece of theatre that ‘looked beyond the dementia to the person’.

Directed by Rachael Savage, four superb actors in masks by Russell Dean played eight slightly exaggerated stereotypical but absorbing and believable characters.

We laughed at their actions, cried at the sadness of the hospital ward and gulped as we realised the truths they’d observed and portrayed about aging and caring.

There was age-confusion and generational differences. She was not as daft as people thought she was, never parted from her handbag but used toothpaste as hand cream.

The youth gently putting his grandmother to bed was touching; the mother’s irritation at them both was understandable and fragments of flashback to long-lost wartime days and later romance were juxtaposed with contemporary youth culture.

All that, and not a word said, yet it spoke volumes.

Full mask theatre is an acquired taste. It’s a shame more theatre lovers, students of drama and mime didn’t try it. But they’ll be back next year. Make a note.

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