Finding Joy at Edinburgh Fringe
A little taste of The Courtyard will be at Edinburgh Fringe this year as three productions that we have been involved with will be performed during the festival. On our blog this week we will be taking a look at each show. First of all, we hear about Finding Joy from Vamos Theatre.
“In 2010, Vamos Theatre, the UK’s leading full mask company, performed Nursing Lives at The Courtyard. After the show, Martyn Green, CEO of The Courtyard at the time, casually mentioned that he would like to work in collaboration with us – on a show about dementia. Of course, we said ‘yes’, but came away feeling more than a little daunted by the subject matter.
We base all our work on true stories, and after months of research we were struggling to find stories that weren’t simply depressing. Dementia isn’t a joyful subject, we know it’s not. But with Finding Joy we wanted to celebrate a life, not dwell on losing a person, but finding them – and finding joy and happiness with them – especially when words no longer have meaning.
Eventually Rachael Savage, our Artistic Director, found the real life story of an 18 year old boy who looked after his grandmother as she made her way through middle and late stage dementia.
Danny was at a loose end. With no career path beckoning, he saw his mum struggling to support his grandmother and knew he could be useful. For the next two years he applied his unorthodox methods to the task. Together they played games, went out with the lads, watched football. He was a natural carer and looked after her with an inspiring freshness, always with total respect for her changing reality.
Finding Joy has become Vamos’s most successful show, and we’re proud to say it was created with The Courtyard. Since 2013 it has reached over 120 venues nationwide, opened at London International Mime Festival 2014, premiered internationally at Jyväskylä Festival, Finland in 2015, and is now making its Edinburgh debut at Assembly Halls, 4 – 14 August.”