Take Off Your Cornflakes


Who am I without my past?  When we go out of our mind, where do we go?  Take Off Your Cornflakes is a portrait of a marriage, and yet, a love story!  Tom and Trish have celebrated their silver wedding anniversary but what happens when he wakes up with a strange woman beside him and she tells him she’s his wife?  She chooses to enter his world, armed only with humour, music and love.  

Of course there is loss with dementia, but what matters is how we deal with our losses and our gains.  When Trish accepts that it is possible for her to enter Tom’s world instead of constantly dragging him into hers, she finds relief.  Trish has to learn how to accept his new reality, and chooses humour and imagination to survive without losing her own sanity.

Rose is a comic actor (Sister Assumpta in Father Ted) and Pat Nolan played Barry in Fair City for nearly 20 years. This play is inspired by her Dad, Jack, who was an engineer who had Alzheimer’s and couldn’t remember he had Cancer.  “He taught us about staying in the present, because that’s where he lived.  We had to learn to never ask a question that didn’t have the answer in the room.  His intelligence made life a crossword puzzle to be solved.  I believe humour is the only way to survive, if the topic visits you.”

Laughing in the face of death is a choice.  This is a play about love.  You will laugh, you may cry, but you will find a very beautiful and moving piece of theatre.

The Arts Review Chris O’Rourke

While many shows focused on size or scale, some of the most memorable productions resulted from solo or duet performances.  Take Off Your Cornflakes by Rose Henderson and Pat Nolan, as part of Fishamble’s Show in a Bag, was deeply moving.

The two authors play Trish and her taxi-driver husband Tommy, to perfection Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent

Kevin Worrall – Meg.ie

This Fishamble production offers an honest and heartfelt portrayal of living with Alzheimer’s.

The Arts Review – Chris O’Rourke ****

…one of the most sensitive, heartfelt, and uplifting shows of the festival.

Pat Nolan is outstanding as the fun, life-loving Tommy, delivering a beautifully understated, heart wrenching performance.

Henderson as Trish, is wonderfully compelling throughout. Clinging to Tommy in every moment, ready to kill him in the next, Henderson’s Trish is deeply moving as the wife who wants her husband back.

Throughout, there’s a charm and ease, and an irresistible chemistry between Nolan and Henderson, that is utterly enchanting. 

Hats off to Pat Nolan and Rose Henderson for crafting a work of such sensitivity and relevance, giving voice and immediacy to the experience of those afflicted by Alzheimer’s.

Take Off Your Cornflakes” is a heartbreaking joy, full of love, laughter, and the living of every moment. And of jokes so bad you just can’t help laughing.


Rose Henderson (Father Ted and Fair City) and Pat Nolan (Fair City)


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