NEWS: Confirmation @ Northern Stage, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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A thought-provoking one-man show, at Northern Stage on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March focuses on the psychological curio of skewed viewpoints – too often do we choose only to listen and afford importance to information which we believe to be right.

Performed entirely by Chris Thorpe and directed by Rachel Chavkin, Confirmation explores the phenomenon known as ‘confirmation bias’ – with particular emphasis on how it manifests itself during political discourse. The Edinburgh Fringe smash attempts to have an honourable dialogue, real and imagined, with people Chris wouldn’t normally have talked to in a million years!

These subjects – on the surface – have backgrounds similar to his own (in gender, ethnicity and geography, for example), yet hold radically different viewpoints. “There were email exchanges with several people,” he explains, “underpinned by research into their organisations and writing on their websites. I hung out on some forums. I went to some political meetings – always being as open as was practical – some more mainstream groups and some less.”

Individuals included ‘Glen’, a Holocaust denier and white supremacist. “With ‘Glen’ there was also the extra level of regular conversations, live and on Skype, over the course of a year or so,” Chris recalls. He feeds these conversations back to the audience through descriptions of some of the surreal experiences he had. “I never try to impersonate ‘Glen’ though. There’s no acting. It’s not about personifying him for an audience.”

This is because the show isn’t about the views, he points out: “It’s about the ways of processing the world we all share and how that can lead us to such different places.” Chris previously considered himself to be, what he calls, a “lazy liberal”. “Now I’m much clearer on how I want the world to be. It’s given me more of an aggressive liberalism…if that’s not too contradictory!”

Confirmation is at Northern Stage, Newcastle on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March.

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