Event Details


What I Learned From Johnny Bevan is a fictional account of two friends, Nick and Johnny, united by a ferocious devotion to the Labour party while students in the late nineties, then forced apart by their backgrounds. Nick, through whose voice Wright narrates the story, is a child of middle England raised in stifling comfort. Johnny is dyed-in-the-wool working class, as accustomed to gangland fights on his grungy East London estate as he is to Marx and Morrissey. Theirs is a recognisable tale of adolescent friendship fired by uncompromising idealism crumbling on the painful shards of broken dreams. It is the story of a generation betrayed by Tony Blair and New Labour.

Support

Lisa Blower ( 20 minute reading from her excellent new novel ” Sitting Ducks )

Bison Review

The one where Luke wants to name an east end villain after moose…

We were sitting on the steps at the back of the Wightman having a breather, Luke had just arrived for the gig and we were just talking through the set up…

I happened to mention that Neil Astley, famous book bloke had knicked my surname after judging a short story competition wot I won, millennia ago “just 12 months later he publishes a book with a minor character in it with my surname, coincidence? I think not”. Luke pulling on his pre-show Johnny Bevan head in a Worzel Gummidge style says throws a hungry look in Mel’s direction and says “Draycott, I can see an east end gangster with that name, something like marvin draycott” (I record this on your behalf moose man in case you need to sue his tall and extremely good looking ass).

But what a night it was though folks! And it wasn’t even late December in ’63. Badger was wowing the queueing punters with anecdotes and imaginery cartwheels, moose was spooning out the lemon dream like tomorrow never comes and Hayden T smoothed it and laid a bass line foundation for the first up…

Lisa Blower, lovely Lisa as we like to call her reading extractor fan bits from her working class novel “sitting ducks” buy it…go on you muppet!

She gave us 15 minutes of her fame and we lapped it up like lapsang souchong, that’s either Chinese tea or 2 breeds of exotic dog, it works either way…

Back for a bit more Hayden T, now cranking up the tunage into the 70’s post punk era, had me pogoing in the bogs, until I knocked tiles off the walls, that’s what this man is capable of, just give him 2 turntables and a microwave…

The crowd hushed, the lights dimmed and bounding onto the stage with more energy than Krakatoa on a good day came the nights main event, his none-other-ness than mister Luke Wright doing his one man written and performed play “Wot I Learned From Johnny Bevan” geezer, init…

This cautionary tale of friendship that goes all sour like milk left in the fridge for 2 months (no I never did that), of political naivety, political activism and political conviction burst like a bag of boiled rice fresh from the ding, over the collective heads of our sold out audience, love each and every one of ‘em we do.

Luke’s delivery was akin to a souped up astra from the estate, as he jumped in and out of his characters and drew us along the timeline of Blairism and the course of an unlikely friendship… between Nick and his anti-hero hero Johnny Bevan, captivated we were…as he ducked and dived and slowed it down for pathos and bathos, then injected a blast of anger like a mouthful of minty blast toothpaste.

The standing ovation and screams of fuck yes shock the rafters of this once temperance hall, temperance unpractised here on this evening, we were drunk with raw emotion and lemon dream.

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