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Theatre review: Joy at the Theatre Royal, E15

first night

This production has an irrepressible, swaggering spirit that sweeps you along with it and leaves you glowing


Sam Marlowe

Imogen Roberts plays Joy with a smidgin of snarky attitudeMATHEW FOSTER

“Girl Almighty” reads the slogan on Joy’s pink sweatshirt, and she’s out to conquer the world. She wants to travel, create art, have her own home and a baby. Yet she’s constantly stopped and silenced by a single word: “no”.

Joy has Down’s syndrome. Mum walked out when she was little. Dad is stiflingly overprotective, yet her big sister Mary knows Joy needs her freedom to fly.

And Joy has made up her mind: from now on, she’s not taking “no” for an answer. Stephanie Martin’s play is boundary-busting, inclusive theatre. A coming-of-age tale laced with courage and anger, as well as salty humour, it’s lively and engaging, despite some threadbare plotting and soapy dialogue.

Melanie Fullbrook’s production, performed by actors with and without learning…

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