Confirmation

Part-biographical, part-political, part-musical, part-magical. Xnthony (Aka Anthony Keigher) brings his popular Dublin Fringe show Confirmation to this year's Edinburgh Festival. Xnthony shines throughout with his incredible charisma but the music, composed by Saly ó Dúnlaing, as well as other aspects of the show are extremely hit or miss.

Confirmation has potential but still needs more work

Confirmation focuses on the life of Anthony Keigher as performed by himself and focused through the different ideas and belief aspects of a Confirmation, a traditional ceremony within the Catholic Church which he took part in at a younger age. Though this might be seen as egotistical, he is able to provide the emotion and passion required to talk (and sing) about his life growing up as a gay man in Roscommon eventually moving away to London as well as giving a strong focus on the recent same-sex marriage referendum which recently took place in the Republic of Ireland where his home county of Roscommon voted against his right to marry. Xnthony gives this show his all, coming over as incredibly engaging and charismatic. This is also supported by the choreography by Yvan Karlsson which adds to Xnthony’s performance even in such a limited theatre space within the Pleasance Dome. Xnthony comes over well in expressing himself and his story, especially in expressing his feelings about his identity, upbringing and LGBT+ issues. Often this is expressed though different musical numbers performed well by Xnthony’s incredible vocal talent. However, the songs the performers are a very much mixed bag and one of the issues the show has.

The music was one of the biggest issues the show had, being a very much mixed in levels of quality. Somewhere powerful ballads that expressed deep emotional feelings about identity and childhood which came over well and added somewhat to the performance whoever most where very 80s style pop music which, though nostalgic, didn’t come over as well and often felt incredibly awkward to watch. This is additionally made more awkward by the poor set design and constant smoke pouring onto the stage which, par some moments of clever lighting, failed to add anything of value to the performance. The framework of the confirmation, though appropriate in the ideas covered, fails to give the show the right pacing and it often struggles to move between moments of dialogue and song. With these issues combined, the overall mood and quality of the production is quite undermined.

Confirmation has potential but still needs more work. Xnthony’s ability as a performer and creator is clearly visible and he works well in expressing ideas, stories and his passion within this project. I believe with more work and some fixes; Confirmation has great potential and I genuinely do look forward to Xnthony’s future work.

Reviews by Scott Blair

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

This is not a story about the status quo. This is a story about making a change. Xnthony was 12 when he made his confirmation. He was 26 when his home town voted against Ireland's marriage equality referendum. Gig meets theatre in a moving and hilarious look at how a vote can change the way we view ourselves. Direct from a sell-out run at the Dublin Fringe Festival, this is a poignant pop concert from an award-winning company exploring the relationships we have with the places we call home and the stories they hold. 'Captivating' ***** (TheReviewsHub.com).

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