The 10th Anniversary production of the Green Day musical American Idiot is visiting the New Wimbledon Theatre this week. And with an all-star cast audiences are being treated to a bit of a rock master-class.
First staged on Broadway in 2010, American Idiot is based on Green Day’s Grammy Award winning album of the same name and follows three disillusioned youths trying to find a meaning to their existence following the 9/11 terror attacks. One heads to the big city and immerses himself with the underclass, one joins the army and the other plays house with his pregnant girlfriend.
It’s all very grimy and laddie, with the camaraderie of young men fully played upon including lots of crotch grabbing and head-banging. But with Green Day’s biggest hits forming the soundtrack, you can’t help but be drawn in and even moved by their antics.
Songs like the beautiful “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and the hauntingly apt “When September Ends” take on a real poignance. That is helped by the exuberant and committed young cast led by Tom Milner, who brings a truthful vulnerability to the role of Johnny. He is well matched by the gravelly voiced Luke Friend as St. Jimmy, the exceptional Joshua Dowen as Tunny and the brooding Samuel Pope as Will.
Despite relatively little stage-time, X Factors Sam Lavery also makes an impact as What’s Her Name.
American Idiot isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but with hugely impactful songs performed by such a sensational cast is a punky production that is well worth a watch.
American Idiot is running at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 18 May.