I guess we were no different to anyone else.

When my wife Molly was diagnosed with dementia she went into denial and I went into the bomb shelter. For Molly the denial went on for a very long time. Being me I quickly stepped out of the shelter. Life wasn’t easy but it was for living.

By the autumn of 2016 Molly was starting to acknowledge what was happening. At this time the bindweed of dementia had progressed quite far and I was by then cast into the role as carer. What choice did I have? And if this sounds like sour grapes it isn’t. I had no choice I wanted to care for her. I loved her and more than anything else in the world I wanted to make her time left with me, our family and friends a time with real quality. None of us are prepared for this role, none of us know how to face the challenge of dementia, none of us know just how much we can take on and cope with. The courses I was offered were great but they fell far short of what I really needed.

So over the time I was caring for Molly I kept notes, I thought, I wrote. Out of that came this show: “Orienteering“. A show which offers people a chance to roam off the beaten track of conventional dementia training. Hopefully a road map for people who may be feeling there is no hope, people feeling that the way ahead is closed. I am determined to help them see that dementia is not the end, it is the start of something new.

The first performance was on Sunday 24th June at the Bristol Improv Theatre. It is a one man show and as you follow my journey, special moments are underscored with my poetry; it also features music specially commissioned for “Orienteering“. You can read reviews and testimonials here and see pictures from shows here. If you are interested in hosting the show then do get in touch using the contact link on the menu above.

For performance dates please visit this page.

To book a show contact us here.

If you have seen the show and want to offer feedback then click here.

Scroll through some of the testimonial here:-


I knew that your piece had touched me deeply when I woke up angry the next morning and doing battle with Hilary. That evening she was playing a CD of constellation work when she called through to me "Didn't you have a disease when you were young that brought you close to death". When I said "Yes" she said "listen to this". It was for people who had been brought close to death by disease when young and the key point is that it's possible for a young person to be turned around to face Death instead of Life and if this has taken place it may take something like constellation work to turn around and put Death behind you and then visualise Life in front of you. When I heard all this I realised that Synchronicity had performed its usual miracle: I had witnessed your very moving personal journey - not into Death, but into Life and it's only as I write this that the tapestry is becoming revealed as my words disappear over the tiny box of "please write here"! I can't write all I need to write but I'll have a good chat with you about it. Suffice to say that without your wonderful show I wouldn't be making this huge change of direction in my life.

Austin Keenan

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