American Idiot, the winner of two Tony Awards and Best Musical Show in the 2010 Grammy Awards, has arrived for its explosive performance in Sunderland. I eagerly headed along to see what the Green Day musical had to offer.
Set post 9/11, American Idiot follows three young friends Johnny(Newton Faulkner), Will (Steve Rushton) and Theo (Cellen Chugg Jones) looking to find themselves and where they’re destined to go in life. There’s music from Green Day’s 2004 multi-platinum album, American Idiot, alongside tracks from 21st Century Breakdown and an unreleased song – which I won’t say any more about to keep it a nice acoustic surprise!
First making a name for itself on Broadway, the musical, based on the book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, certainly brings a new meaning to songs I remember listening to growing up. The inner Green Day fan in me was loving the nostalgia hearing all the songs again that bring back memories of school and sixth form days.
Newton Faulkner puts on an incredible performance as Johnny. I was a bit doubtful at first whether his acoustic style and unique vocals would suit pop-punk/rock songs. Turns out his voice really suits Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends, so if anything, this should push the double platinum artist back into the limelight once again, where he’s been since Dream Catch Me in 2007.
Amelia Lily, the X-Factor contestant also puts on a fantastic performance as Whatsername, showing off the great voice we know her for, particularly in 21 Guns. She’s not alone as a local girl, as Alice Stokoe who plays the outstanding Extraordinary Girl is also from the North East too. I still, hours later, do not know how she changed so quickly in the scene with Theo when she’s spinning round in his dream. If you see it and see her change, please do confirm this with me, as I blinked and she’d changed…
Lucas Rush, who you’ll know as St Jimmy puts on a show-stopping performance. He’s the epitome of what I imagine to be St Jimmy; dangerous, raucous and entertaining.
There’s drugs, sex, fights, lust and even a moony – so not what you might expect from a musical, but it works! And given that American Idiot has won five Broadway World UK Awards, plus an award winning, incredibly talent cast, you have to see it to believe it. American Idiot, I may not be, but I certainly enjoyed the musical!
Showing 24-28 May at Sunderland Empire tickets are available at the Box Office or online at ATG Tickets.
A huge thank you to Sunderland Empire for inviting me along to see American Idiot. I left remembering all the Green Day songs I used to listen to – my sister and I even drove home listening to them! All views my own – stage photos supplied with permission.