“Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys is certainly a catchy song title, and one that is used to make clear the thoughts of the younger versions of Greeny and Stevo, two Yorkshire born kids who become best of friends when their families move next door to each other. Except that as they grow older, their views on Nazi’s seem to diverge, with Stevo having a conversion into a Tommy Robinson supporter, much to Greeny’s disgust.
Matthew Greenhough, writer and performer, is a bundle of tension and agitation as he tells the story of the two friends, skirting around the small space in constant motion, his delivery machine gun rapid. In fact, the delivery is so fast he occasionally trips over his own tongue, but rather than distract, instead it adds to the feeling that he needs to tell his story and he needs to tell it right now.
That story begins in the present day, Stevo having travelled to London, supposedly for a job interview, and so meeting up again with his lifelong friend Greeny. Through a series of non-linear flashbacks, Greenhough builds the story superbly, giving depth to the two characters. We hear of their schooldays together, how they feel in love with punk music, even forming a band together and performing that aforementioned Dead Kennedys song at their debut gig. Ultimately though the friends go their separate ways, Greeny off to university and then London, whilst Stevo remains stuck in their hometown.
Interjecting each change of scene, a lone trumpet player gives bursts of jazz versions of modern punk and rock songs, whilst Greenhough seeks out the right music to accompany the next piece of his story. It’s a moment to draw breath, but only for a moment before Greenhough fires off again.
It’ll Be Alt-Right On The Night is a clever examination of how people from the same backgrounds can find themselves as polar opposites as they grow up. It may conveniently stereotype its two protagonists; Stevo converting to the far right due to the feelings of disenfranchisement and lack of opportunity in his Yorkshire hometown, Greeny the liberal leftie moving to where all liberal lefties go, London. But even so, it is a performance and storytelling of the very top quality and a clever look into how such radicalisation can tear friendships apart.
Written by: Matthew Greenhough
Directed by: Jonny Kelly
Prodcued by: Sofi Berenger/Wound Up Theatre
Booking link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/it-ll-be-alt-right-on-the-night
Booking until: 26 August 2019