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Shoppers find joy as performers visit town and city centres

PUBLISHED: 16:32 16 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 16 September 2017

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Two larger-than-life characters have been making a scene in public spaces around Norfolk.

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Masked actors playing Joy, a grandmother living with dementia, and her rebellious grandson Danny paid visits to Norwich’s Forum as well as Diss and Sheringham town centres ahead of performances of Finding Joy, which is touring across the country.

Rowan Whiteside from the Norwich Playhouse, where the show will be on Tuesday, September 26, said audiences could expect to be delighted and moved by the play.

Ms Whiteside said: “It’s a really moving story of a grandson who cares for his feisty, dance-loving grandmother who progresses through middle and late-stage dementia.”

Danny develops his own unorthodox approach to caring for her, and the pair embark on a touching journey filled with humour and humanity.

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Whiteside said: “It’s a full-masked performance and it’s really about finding moments of happiness in a life that can be quite challenging.

“It’s really astoundingly beautiful, and it was inspired by a true story. We’ve had some really wonderful feedback and we’re really excited to bring it to the Norwich audience.”

Ms Whiteside said despite the serious subject matter, the play was a joy to watch. She said: “It’s not depressing at all. Although life can be very difficult for those who love or live with people who are living with dementia, it’s about the uplifting moments that you find and the connections that you make.”

The show has a ‘partner piece’ called Sharing Joy, which was created especially for people living with dementia and their families.

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Susan Ringwood, Age UK Norwich chief executive, said of that play: “It was so moving, and truly life affirming. We all had a tear in our eye by the end, and came away literally dancing.”

The play is produced by Vamos Theatre, and won praise at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Other performances will take place at the Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft on September 27, and the Diss Corn Hall on September 28, the Maltings at Wells-next-the-Sea September 29 and at the Sheringham Little Theatre on September 30. For more information, visit www.vamostheatre.co.uk/shows/show/finding-joy

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Actors from the show Finding Joy, Danny, a rebellious teenager, looks after his grandmother who has dementia, 83-year-old Joy, as they walk around the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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