Aspects of Joy – Free

Joy Carter’s stand-up centres around a cute theme that works well for its midday slot. As the title suggests, Carter explores both her own autobiography and the emotion of joy. Apparently adults laugh on average fifteen times a day, as opposed to children’s two-hundred times. And Carter’s aim is to bring adults up to speed with the kids. Does she succeed? Her confident audience interaction hints at entertaining potential. But while Carter may achieve a few titters to add to the laugh count, unfortunately much of her material is flat and under-developed.

Carter has an engaging on-stage persona

The level of chat is like going for a cup of tea with your bubbly auntie; warm but quite banal. Carter takes us through her awkward upbringing in Scunthorpe, bringing out large photos of her younger selves from plastic carrier bags. None of her songs are original, and she changes so little of those she uses, it’s hardly worth singing them. Her rendition of When Will I See You Again matches the original but for the sarcy ‘never’ inserted after each question.

The selection of material in Carter’s comic cabaret feels randomly put together, nothing more so than her flute-playing. She’s a competent flautist, but making the flute funny would be a challenge to anyone, and unfortunately Carter fails to achieve this high target. Her attempts involve playing right up in the face of an audience member while gazing at him creepily, and fluting while hula-hooping. It’s like a children’s talent competition without irony. A particularly strange moment is when Carter slowly and methodically peels a banana, before feeding a bite to the audience-member she has just fluted at. One snippet I felt was more inspired is Carter’s take on Black Swan in which she dances using crutches to achieve the ballerina’s extreme tip-toe.

Carter has an engaging on-stage persona and works through her limp material with some style. But more thought is needed to give this show a coherent structure.

Reviews by Kate Wilkinson

theSpace @ Jury's Inn

Bench

★★
Bedlam Theatre

Be Better

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

A Little Man's Holiday

★★★★★
Black Medicine

SherwoodJam

★★
Hispaniola

Aspects of Joy – Free

★★
Pleasance Dome

Lazy Susan: Double Act

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Joy was adopted in Nigeria, grew up in Scunthorpe and is an extreme musical comedian on the flute and piano. She explores the use of joy to overcome life’s stuff - from bullying to the universal question, ‘Can a cat surreptitiously be racist?’ This debut show includes brand new comedy ballet Black Swan, a ghetto version that fuses Natalie Portman with the Black Panthers. ‘Spontaneous, eccentric and a true individual’ (BBC Home Counties). Be transported into a mad musical comedy world as Joy switches seamlessly between stand up, music and dance. ‘So Brilliant’ (Jo Brand).

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets