Theatre review: It'll Be Alt-Right on the Night, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Itll Be Alt-Right on the Night, Pleasance Courtyard  Beneath (Venue 33)
Itll Be Alt-Right on the Night, Pleasance Courtyard Beneath (Venue 33)
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Greeny and Stevo have been best friends since a disadvantaged, working-class childhood, when both were misfits together at school in Sheffield and stuck by one another through everything life threw at them.

It'll Be Alt-Right on the Night, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh * * * *

Including the school bully, whose picking on Greeny saw the more unpredictable Stevo march into class and break the kid’s nose with one punch.

Fast forward to early adulthood, and not fitting in made then both natural latter-day punk rockers from the moment they first heard the Sex Pistols, taking part in earnest anti-fascist action soundtracked by Dead Kennedy’s serrated Nazi Punks F*** Off, and living in squats.

Nowadays, however, they hate each other, and it’s all down to the internet; specifically, the way that online life has fragmented the previously uniform idea of what reacting against the establishment involves.

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As formerly large tribes split into diverse subgroups, the demographic who once might have simply called themselves punks has fractured, with some falling to the far political left and others to the furthest reaches of the right, all in the name of rejecting orthodoxy.

From such tightly entwined original perspectives, Greeny has now embraced the activist’s creed of what can be termed political correctness, while Stevo channels his downtrodden ordinariness and clear lack of the privilege he is always earnestly told he has in abundance by embracing the populist creed of the alt-right.

Writer Matthew Greenhough (a key figure in Wound Up Theatre, whose previous Fringe hit was Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy) performs both characters in interlocking first-person scenes, a source of energy and sensitivity, while musician Steven Wright plays jazz adaptations of the punk classics mentioned alongside.

Ultimately, it’s a work which rejects easy stereotypes or judgments to recognise the sense of social disenfranchisement which creates both worldviews, and it’s all the bolder for it.

Until 26 August

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