Writer: Anthony Keigher
Music: Sally Ó Dúnlaing
Reviewer: Saoirse Anton
“I left Anthony in Ireland and took Xnthony with me.”
Confirmation is a musical memoir about growing up in Roscommon, coming out as gay, finding a new life in London, and returning home to understand it and belong in a new way. It is about finding the in-between spaces in which we all exist.
The show opens with a song about feeling the pulse of the land beneath his feet, which sets the tone for the piece perfectly. Drawing together the magic, the faeries and the sense of an older Ireland, with stories of our recent past, and honest, personal accounts of his memories, Keigher creates an evocative piece of theatre that speaks to a timeless yet contemporary Ireland. This is complimented by Keigher’s intimate style of storytelling, and Sally Ó Dúnlaing’s beautiful compositions.
Confirmationtakes a different approach to Xnthony’s previous work. As Keigher stands alone on James Doyle’s strikingly painted stage, laying his memories out in front of the audience and letting his rich voice soar through Ó Dúnlaing’s melodies, the glitzy setting of Douze and the frenetic energy of The Power of Wow seem far away. And yet, Xnthony’s past work has clearly informed this show. As he explores his relationship to his home county, Keigher provides a context for his work – this show feels like an interrogation, or perhaps an understanding, of how he came to be standing on the stage of the Lir last night in the best confirmation outfit anyone could imagine. As Keigher explores his own memories of his childhood in Roscommon, and his later memories of the marriage referendum in 2016, he creates a space for the audience to look at life in their own in-between ways. The show is based on one person’s memories, but it tells a bigger story.
Both a departure and a revisiting, Confirmation is a candid, captivating piece of theatre for 21stCentury Ireland.
Runs until 22September | Image: Contributed