The Royal Exchange Studio has been a good place to see interesting and innovative theatre over the years.  At the moment it is going through a revival, presenting  a fascinating mix of renowned touring companies alongside Royal Exchange productions.

It’s not quite a monologue, and at times it edges towards a lecture, but Chris Thorpe’s one man Confirmation is intense and challenging.  It builds gradually from a  BNP meeting through conversations with a white supremacist leader to, well to the question of what exactly you can deny, and how little evidence some people need to support their beliefs.  It deals with Confirmation Bias – the tendency to use new information to confirm our existing beliefs.

It can be a dangerous game to play the unacceptable side and ask us to oppose the view presented, but here within Chris’ intelligent and powerful text, it is fully effective.  The subject area is difficult, but Chris knows exactly when to back away, judge the situation and keep us on his side.  So well that when I find myself face to face with extreme views, I am more repelled than I ever would be from press or TV reports.   The effect is powerful and intense.

Written and performed by Chris Thorpe, and developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin, Confirmation is staged in the round, giving neither Chris nor the audience anywhere to hide.  Having said that, it pulls off some effective audience interaction to create intimate moments.  If you like your theatre to challenge, see this.


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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