Bold, coarse and often funny, It’ll be Alt Right On The Night uses the fascinating lens of punk rock to view the disjointed modern world of Donald Trump, Tommy Robinson, and Brexit.
Ostensibly a one-man show with musical accompaniment, writer- performer Matthew Greenhough weaves a story of two Sheffield lads, Greeny and Steve-o, childhood friends bound by a love of punk. In adulthood, however, an ideological rift between soyboy libtard and racist neo-nazi gammon drives a wedge into their friendship, culminating in an explosive confrontation in a Lidl car park.
Driven more by character study and situation than plot, the show tells its narrative through a non-chronological series of snapshots throughout the lives of the two men. This works well for the most part; seeing Steve-o as a young man is poignant knowing what his adult self will become. However, telling the story this way becomes a little confusing sometimes, as even Greenhough occasionally blurts out the wrong year the next scene is supposed to depict.
The prose is vulgar and full of prosaic references to British culture, however below the surface it is quite an intelligent summary of discourse as it stands today. Both men represent the two great echo chambers of our age, and the show is very even-handed in depicting both. Though I think it’s clear where Greenhough’s sympathies lie, he avoids caricature of the titular alt-right and shows a clear understanding of how the resentment of white working class males being categorised as ‘privileged’ and the seductiveness of the answers the alt-right provides explains the viewpoints many consider inexplicable.
Greenhough tears through the material with a raw, frenetic vigour. His performance is in itself very punk; though there are some flubbed lines, there aren’t any more than missed notes when Sid Vicious played bass live. Music itself is vital to the show; between scenes, songs and bands referenced in the show are given a jazz-punk treatment with accompaniment from trumpeter Steven Wright.
Though a little rough around the edges in both form and execution, It’ll Be Alt-Right on the Night is a fresh, exciting take on the current state of things. As the recurring motif of the piece, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” by the Dead Kennedys, warns, “you’ll be the first to go unless you think”, and Matthew Greenhough has certainly thought very carefully.