Testimonials for Orienteering

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A folk tale told with heart and warmth.

Helen Wales Storyteller

A master of storytelling that provides warmth and charm that pulls the listener into the scene as a welcomed guest.

Andy Coppin Storyteller
South London Storytelling: www.southlondonstorytelling.com

A Real Eye Opener

It showed how much caring and looking after someone takes over your life.

Showing how trivial things like taking a shower whilst looking after someone has to be planned and fitted in. A REAL EYE OPENER.

Kevin Davis

A Really Interesting And Worthwhile Afternoon

The Yarn Whisperer spent an afternoon at our school regaling the Year 6s with his captivating and beautifully told stories. The children were fascinated with the tales and followed up with a host of interesting questions. Highly recommended to one and all

Bob Owen Deputy Head
Robinswood Primary Academy in Gloucester: www.robinswoodpa.co.uk

A storyteller who really knows how to connect with an audience. Tells with warmth, sincerity and charm.

Andy Johnson Storyteller

A Wonderful Format And Brilliantly Delivered

We liked everything, poetry, insight to Molly's life and dementia and how to interact with patients with disabilities. Well done and thanks for all your hard work.

Nick and Cheryl Spencer

A Wonderful Performance, Thank You

Charlie’s performance of ‘Orienteering’ opened up a world which we rarely get to see, the love and care for his wife Molly shone through as he takes the audience on a spellbinding journey from laughter to tears to feeling hopeful and inspired. I recommend this show to everyone and think it would be helpful for anyone who knows anyone with dementia (probably everyone then?). Weeks after the show and Charlie and Molly's story rings in my ears, a wonderful performance, thank you.

Sophie Greenchester

An Absolute Privilege

What an absolute privilege it was to see your performance, thank you so much!

Sophie Burford

An Extraordinary, Humbling And Beautiful Performance

An extraordinary, humbling and beautiful performance. By turns heart breaking and irresistibly beautiful. This is amazing. An over-used word in our society but I genuinely believe this can change the lives of the carers and the loved one of the carers.

Nigel Edwards

Beautiful, just beautiful!

Suzanne Thomas Storyteller

Beautifully told. Effortlessly delightful and so engaging.

Wendy Shearer Storyteller
Story Boat: www.storyboat.co.uk

Brilliant Evening

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

Charlie brought the whole subject to life

The enormous subject of prehistory is always tricky, but once again, Charlie brought the whole subject to life for a preschool group visiting the museum. His enchanting tales of a little woolly mammoth were told beautifully, to an unpredictable and sometimes challenging audience.

Whoever the audience are, Charlie’s style is warm, patient, totally engaging  and seemingly effortless, and his ability to adapt to all ages is inspiring.

Jane Bovenizer Families and Education Officer
Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Charlie did it just right

I felt privileged to be part of the audience for this presentation at the Bristol Improv Theatre, by Charlie MarkwickI have often been accustomed, sadly, in my career as a doctor and psychotherapist, to speak to all sorts of people about painful and distressing things and I know how hard it can be, both to tell and hear about them. And yet doing it right adds immeasurably to the restoration of normality, even happiness.

Well - Charlie did it just right! He did not save us from from sharing the downsides and the pain for both of them in this account of their marriage, with the decline of Molly's health, with dementia and terminal illness. Nor did he deny her anything of her feisty and determined character, so that those of us who had not known her felt the reality nonetheless and mourned her gradual loss along with him. But even as her frailties were eating away the person he loved he could find matters to delight them both, and us.

His tenderness shines through, as does his ability to find a good story in everything! By this he draws out from the audience a deeper understanding and level of participation than, perhaps, they had imagined when they sat down. There was a delightful strand of humour running through his account, which encompassed the sadness at times almost with sweetness, yet not dismissing the terrible nature of the sorrow entwined with it. I believe that this helped us, as audience to engage with these difficult themes - dementia and death, perhaps among today's greatest fears. We will not easily forget the delightful buttermint saga!

This is a life experience rather than a show. It would be of great interest and benefit to professionals in this field and to patients themselves and carers. I almost hesitate to say that, in case future performances are confined to that band, this is a show that everyone should see and they will enjoy it. All ages, indeed all who share our common humanity, knowing how easily any of us may have to face these things one way or another - all of us will benefit from this presentation, which can be put on easily, I guess, anywhere that Charlie can be persuaded to go!

Elinor Kapp [MB.BS. DPM. FRCPsych. BA.]

Charlie has a true talent for the weaving of magical

Charlie has a true talent for the weaving of magical tales that engage all ages. It was hard to believe that he was anyone other than the real Father Christmas.  Children were enthralled by his “reminiscences” of happenings in the North Pole, and children and adults alike warmed to his relaxed storytelling style.

Thank you Charlie, we are really looking forward to your next visit in December.

Jane Bovenizer Families and Education Officer
Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Charlie is an animated storyteller

Charlie is an animated storyteller who can draw the attention of all. Charlie's storytelling has inspired our Residents to tell stories of their own thus contributing to our newsletter which is just fantastic!
Who knew storytelling could be so fun!

Emma Davis Sheltered Housing Manager

Charlie, the Yarn Whisperer

Charlie, the Yarn Whisperer. The very name Yarn Whisperer hints that a tale will be woven and shared. Charlie does just that. Charlie has the gift of relaxing his audience and drawing his listeners into his tale. You can imagine yourself being there and time stands still for a while, in the magic of the sharing. Whether you listen or share, Charlie has the knack of relaxing you and putting you at your ease, The ancient art of story telling round the fire is in the here and now... thank you Charlie for your inspiration.

Catherine Bradder Early-retired teacher.

Clyffe Pypard Heritage Weekend

Our goal was to bring our heritage to life and if we could, engage with our local children in a new way but the opportunity that presented itself has done a whole lot more. Not only did we enjoy some priceless moments of real theatre and entertain the eager minds of local children, it has given us, the PCC a new impetus to work with the school, the Trust and other organisations. It has enabled us to develop new partnerships and the confidence to try new initiatives. Charlie gave us more than just a story, he gave us new energy but more importantly, he gave the children a lasting memory of something rather special and we couldn’t have asked for more .

Reverend Rachma Abbott Vicar of St Peter's Church

Evocative and charming telling that is grounded in the lived life.

Phil Okwedy Storyteller

Evocative, warm and engaging. Charlie created such vivid images out of human stories that go straight to the heart.

Alex Langridge Storyteller

Extremely Moving

I loved the personal aspect of the show. I felt as though I understood the love for your wife, and I found that extremely moving. I also like how you gave insight into how other might help carers.

Rustin Allison

Fantastic Father Christmas!

Charlie is the epitome of Father Christmas! He looks the perfect part and spends lots of time talking to each child about their hopes for Christmas. When my children were younger, they truly believed he was Father Christmas at Meysey Hampton school. I appreciate the time he has given to this school over many years.

Angie Wright Parent

Father Christmas

Charlie IS Father Christmas. Everything about him, from his size to his beard to his lovely velvet suit is genuine and so is he. He has time for every child and they do believe they have met the real Santa. He is really quite magical.

Kate Carden Headteacher
Meysey Hampton Primary School

Fierce And Fearless

Your story and storytelling was fierce and fearless.I couldn't take my attention away.The poems throughout were especially good and gave a very clear and concise insight into your specific experiences and what a carer might expect - Molly's three hands in particular.

James Matthews

Friendly, Approachable Manner

From the outset, Charlie skilfully engaged our regular very young story time revellers in the library with his friendly, approachable manner.  His stories, a mix of the well loved, traditional tales that youngsters never tire of hearing and poignant, contemporary ones for our time and place delighted his audience. Interspersed with song and action, the sessions are delivered with finesse and originality. Charlie comes highly recommended. His ability to adapt to any situation, thereby creating a rapport with his audience would endear him to both young and old alike.

Margaret Fox Librarian
Tuffley Library

Great Performance

Great performance ... I laughed and cried ... Well done! I was caught by your performance from the moment you walked on that stage. The music, the narrative and the poems ...

Josephine Lay

Guild House

Charlie visited our Residential Home for his Story Telling sessions. As it was the first time to come to us, we gathered as many residents as possible together, so that the residents could give us a feedback of what they think. We had 17 residents paying very good attention to Charlie and his stories. His stories were so versatile and different in themselves. The residents were very interested and alert. And they told me later over a cup of tea, how much they enjoyed this afternoon. They were very interested in Charlie as a person as well. Whether he has been telling story all his life of what made him doing it. A very enjoyable afternoon for everyone. Thank you very, very much, Charlie.

Sabine Berry Activity Coordinator
Guild House

Happy And Sad

I liked the poems, the insight into Molly's personality, ins and outs of care-giving, what to do/say to help a carer. Wonderful, engaging delivery, happy and sad!

Wishes To Remain Anonymous

Honest and Heartfelt

Such a great performance both honest and heartfelt. Thank you for letting us be part of it.

Trina Davis

I Don’t Often Cry At The Theatre, But Damn!

I liked just about everything. I felt that it conveyed your feelings and experiences in a very pure, direct way. I loved that it had a stamp of your personality on it. I don't often cry at the theatre, but damn!

Stephen Clements

I Liked Everything!

I liked EVERYTHING! There needs to be more of this and people need to see it.

Jenna Thompson

I Needed Tissues!

I liked the depth of material and quality engagement of the show and the after conversation.

Marc Radley

Incredibly Moving

Incredibly moving and informative - should be compulsory viewing and deserves a far wider audience

David Germaney

Incredibly Useful

One of the bravest performances I've seen for a very long time. And incredibly useful on so many levels. Lets hope we see a lot more work with this kind of depth, maturity and humour at the BIT in the future.

Pete Sherrard


I brought a group of year 7's to Tuffley library where we were lucky enough to have Charlie read an extract from Macbeth which the students are studying this year.

Charlie made the text very relevant and interesting. The students listened attentively and showed their understanding by the questions that they asked at the end of the reading. We are looking forward to working with Charlie again very soon as it was such an enjoyable experience.

Samantha Brinkworth Librarian
Gloucester Academy

Please Never Stop

Thank you for your open, true and touching rendition. Thank you for sharing. Please never stop.

Mike Cook

Powerful Storytelling And Poetry

I liked so much. Charlie is a skilful and captivating storyteller and a courageous, charming, touching, hilarious human. I would definitely see this show again AND recommend it to friends, those who are experiencing caring for someone with dementia.

I learnt a lot in a short time through moving and powerful storytelling and poetry.

Great, simple staging, lovely transition music, loved Charlie's outfit, loved the hat on/hat off opening and closing. Great pacing. Nice and satisfying transitions between sad and funny sections. Sensitive, clear delivery. Great read of the room.

Imogen Palmer

Really Useful Coping Strategies

A very moving piece concerning the care of a loved one with dementia. Really useful coping strategies are woven with the daily realities of dealing with the condition ,but done so with love and humour. A compelling piece of work which is essentially a love story and visibly moved several members of the audience to tears. The Q and A session afterwards was very informative and although Charlie is not a professional in the field it clearly evoked a positive response from the professionals in the audience.

Andrea Jackson owner

Santa’s View

I'm not sure how I would get through the lead up to Christmas without the help of The Yarn Whisperer, his willingness to stand in at grottos and delight the children is invaluable. As a way of saying thank you we always invite him up on Christmas Day and he joins us for dinner. Afterwards he tells stories. It's the only time the Polar Bear sits still and even the Goblins are quiet and behave themselves. I would urge you to try him out.

Santa Claus The man himself
The North Pole Website northpole.me.uk

Stories From Santa

The library was pretty full for a Saturday morning with expectant faces awaiting the arrival of a very special visitor. Santa did not disappoint. He arrived with sleigh bells ringing and delighted the children and adults alike with his remarkable tales of Santa and his Christmas tasks. It was delightful to see the engaged little faces mesmerised by this wonderful character. A lively little question time at the end ensured that the magic of Christmas was kept alive in the hearts of those who were there. Thank you Santa for bringing joy to so many!

Margaret Fox Librarian

Story Telling Skills

Many thanks for sharing your story telling skills at Broad Town School. I spoke to the children this morning at School Council and their response was so positive. It is always so wonderful when someone has made a difference to the way the children think and engage in learning, especially when it is so positive.

Here are some of the things the children said:

  • "Charlie said 'where is the story teller'. He explained that it's not just him telling the story but we were all going to help."
  • "It was good as he got everyone involved."
  • "He asked interesting questions."
  • "It was educational and fun."
  • "It was so good as you could imagine the story.
  • "He helped us know how to add dialogue.
  • "He inspired some of us to do better with our literacy."
  • "He used colour and adjectives so we could see what to do and what good adjectives to use."
  • "He made the stories real and interesting and I could really imagine the story in the village."

Bridget Long Head Teacher
Broad Town School: www.broadtown.wilts.sch.uk


Charlie has a wonderful way of talking to children and he has knack of pitching his stories to suit his audience. The children at our school love hearing his tales and stories. These are enhanced by his fantastic knowledge of interesting and obscure facts and detail. The art of good storytelling is a real skill and I have no doubt that our children's imaginations were stimulated and are richer for hearing Charlie's yarns.

Kate Carden Headteacher
Meysey Hampton Primary School

Storytelling @ Northfield House

Charlie has been visiting us for a while now and delivering tales to our residents. These are enjoyed and we look forward to his visits. During his visits he also spends one to one time with a lady who is blind and has a variety of health issues often calling out and being distressed. During her one to one time she is quiet and enthralled by the tale Charlie is telling. Just by her facial expression it is clear she is captured in the moment. A joy to see, she is clearly enjoying the time listening to the delights Charlie brings in his tales and recollections.

Carol Mills Manager
Northfield House Specialist Dementis Care Home

Tears And Laughter

I liked all of it, tears and laughter XXXX

Katrina Davis

Tells with huge warmth and clarity. Great characterisation.

Hazel Bradley Storyteller

Thank You ❤️

Thank you ❤️

Storytelling devices and poems were lovely. Loved the calm, easy transition from speaking to us directly from the stand to the poetry. "Hiding behind the elephant in the room" was a very powerful phrase for me, it describes it perfectly for me. The reference to Terry Pratchett's Zombie was also very illuminating. The "Where's Charlie" story did stay with me.Charlie's stories were a joy to listen to, his journey of discovery of a new perspective was inspiring.

Cat Murphy

The Real Santa

I was very lucky to be able to take my 2 year old daughter to Tuffley library to hear the real Santa tell a story all about the North Pole. Santa was wonderful and my daughter enjoyed the story very much, especially the part about the funny polar bear!

We are looking forward to next year already!

Sam Brinkworth Parent

The Storytelling Is Honest, Brave And Funny

I liked everything. The poetry is beautiful, tender and devastating. The storytelling is honest, brave and funny. The specific advice on caring for a loved on with dementia or supporting a carer were insightful, uncompromising and direct. I am grateful this show exists - thank you for creating it.

Caitlin Campbell

Thought Evoking And Inspiring

Charlie's performance was not only thought evoking and inspiring but also very eye opening and informative. His performance of 'Orienteering' allows you to see that happiness is still possible even if someone close to you has been diagnosed with dementia. Of course you'll go through difficult times but there are also many laughs and adventures to have. Charlie's outlook on life is most certainly a positive one - he sees the glass as half full, rather than half empty. 'Orienteering' tells a beautiful story of the immense love that Charlie has for his dear wife Molly.
Thank you for giving me hope again!


Utterly Brilliant

I went to see an extremely profound performance by Charlie Markwick on love, loss, dementia and hope. Utterly brilliant.

Joe Coles

Very Beautiful Show!

I liked everything - very beautiful show! Should have brought tissues. Very tearful.

Russ Tattersall

Visit from Father Christmas

It's that time of year again. Father Christmas came to our Christmas Fayre and inspired all the awe and wonder of Christmas in the little ones again. (The teachers were excited too!). They love the fact he looks just as they know he will, cheerful smile, twinkly eyes, white beard and has time to chat to them while making them laugh. Thank you Chalie for bringing him to us again looking forward to next Christmas already 🙂 Would recommend anyone looking for the real 'Father Christmas' to get in touch with you quickly as this is his busy time of year! Good luck.

Dawn Coombes TA at primary school

We all enjoy ourselves enormously when Charlie visits.

Since early summer, I’ve been regularly joining two very different groups to see and hear Charlie Markwick the Yarn Whisperer perform. We all enjoy ourselves enormously when Charlie visits. He holds us spellbound with tales of different kinds. Sometimes he transports us to a different time and place; at others I feel I’m on a on a journey into myself. Always, you eagerly want to know what happens next. Charlie also emboldens others to tell their stories. I’ve seen a timid person share a tender memory and a habitual frowner laugh aloud. There’s always plenty of laughter. Group cohesion simply happens. It takes us a long time to go our separate ways afterwards. If you have a chance to see him perform, don’t miss it.

Keren Hermon St Bartholomews sheltered housing building, Gloucester

We Loved It

We loved it Charlie and I think we all shed a tear ...and laughed too ! A big Thank you ...

Caroline Green

Wow. I escaped into your story, loved every minute and still have wonderful images in my head and heart. Thank you.

Hannah Need Storyteller
South London Storytelling: www.southlondonstorytelling.com

Your Poems Are Superb

I liked your specific tips for caring for carers. Like avoiding the phrase "let me know how I can help", instead of offering concrete support.

Elliot Malkin

Your rich warm honey voice, massages my soul as stories quietly and precisely land in my heart.

Cindylou Turner Taylor Storyteller

You’re A Superstar. Thank You.

It was human, caring, real. Touching, funny, sad. Amazing - was in pieces from 10 minutes in until the end! Absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Rob Kershaw

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