Monday, 12 August 2019

EDINBURGH FRINGE REVIEW: Joyce at the Assembly Roxy


The Edinburgh Fringe offers something for everyone and there are plenty of children's shows to fill the morning and early afternoon slots. What is fascinating in these shows is getting the balance right between entertaining the children and the adults. Joyce advertises itself as suitable for all ages and certainly there were plenty of babies in arms as well as toddlers in the audience as well as Mums and Dads and Grandparents. For most of the 60 minute running time they were thoroughly entertained.

It helps that the two main characters are a puppet called Joyce operated by three actors whose father is too busy working to take notice of her and a giant hamster Bobo played by Marc Zayat, who won Best skin costume at GB Panto awards for his debut role at Watford Palace last December. Both enthral the younger audience member although as one young audience member blurred out "I don't know what is going on!"

For the adults there is the father, Adam, who has lost his sense of humour through work absorption, his wife leaving and forgotten about his own childhood memories of drawing in his book until he is transported back into his memories. The transformation scene from black and white drab office to bright colourful children's drawings is slickly and simply done.

Through his journey meeting Dynamite, a space woman representing the sciences and a Prince representing the Arts, a clown and a farting giant he gradually discovers his use of time, the need for fun and his love of Joyce . It's a timely reminder to young parents to get balance right between work and home life. As Bobo says "Why are you so closed off?".

The show also features some lovely simple magic to catch the imagination of the children including a box that rises up, card tricks and a magic wand. 

This is more than a children's show with its philosophical adult themes of love and lost childhood but most importantly it was the children who stayed engrossed watching as we drifted off recalling our own childhood.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: unreserved | Price of Ticket: £10
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