Joyce is a show suitable for all ages. It incorporates puppetry, music and live magic, all of which is performed very well by an obviously talented cast.
We first meet puppet Joyce with her head in a book – Adam’s book of adventures. Then Dad comes in, loudly conducting a business call and impatiently shoo-ing Joyce from the room. Irritated, he begins tidying away the book and the toys that Joyce was playing with. Then, something magical happens. Dad suddenly finds himself transported to a foreign yet familiar land. He is inside the book! And he’s not alone. Joyce’s pet hamster Bo-bo, now larger than life and able to talk, accompanies him through the pages of the book as they try to find their way home to Joyce.
Together they encounter a host of strange characters including a hyperactive stick of dynamite who could explode at any moment; a spacewoman and a medieval prince at loggerheads about whether science or the arts is the most important; and ‘The Magic One’ whose sleight of hand tricks will enthrall the audience. Each character gives Dad a gift as they part ways and these threads all come together when Dad and Bo-bo finally find what they’re looking for: the realisation that family should come first, not conference calls.
We took our 2 and 5 year old daughters who both really enjoyed the show. The music was very well selected and the narrative, the classic ‘journey’, was easy to follow so even the youngest knew what was going on. Although the little one was a bit frightened of the brusque Dad at first, and also opted to move further back from the stage when Bo-bo got big, she came round very quickly.
Introducing a range of characters along the way meant that each scene had a distinct focus and the messages touched upon different themes. Bo-bo was probably my favourite character. Described at one point as an ‘adorable beast’, I thought that hit the nail on the head!
Joyce is a family show that works on several levels. The ultimate message may well go over the heads of the younger audience but it is an important one that is all too easily forgotten by modern working parents stretched in all directions (myself included).
The show is really about children’s imaginations and a world of unending curiosity but, if nothing else, the kids will enjoy the fart jokes.
Joyce – Turtle Company (suitable for all ages)
Assembly Roxy Central, 31 July – 26 Aug 2019, 11.25 (12.25)
P.S. We were gifted press tickets in order to provide this review but all thoughts and opinion are entirely our own. You can buy tickets here.