Review: American Idiot at His Majesty’s Theatre

American Idiot by Green Day is the first album I can remember buying with my own money.

And while it’s a CD I listened to an awful lot during my teenage years, I can’t say I have revisited it many times since.

Last night made me re-think that decision however, having heard its tracks in a completely different light – and fully understanding the context with which its songs were written.

Sam Lavery as Whatshername and Tom Milner as Johnny

The show broadly follows the plot outlined in the album, following the lives of three restless young men in the days and months after the September 11 terror attacks.

American Idiot is unusual in that it has very few lines of spoken dialogue but, despite this, the talented company was able to expertly weave together stories of war, drug addition and lost love over the two hours.

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Luke Friend plays St Jimmy in American Idiot

The show’s mutli-levelled staging allowed the cast to quickly switch between short vignettes, and each scene was full of life and action.

Waterloo Road’s Tom Milner perfectly encapsulated the anarchic spirit Green Day had in mind when creating the lead character of Johnny, with the audience hooked by his performance.

Special mentions must also be given to Joshua Dowen and Raquel Jones, whose scenes together as Tunny and Extraordinary Girl were true stand-out moments.

American Idiot may prove too much for some – with copious amounts of swearing, sex and drug abuse – but it also offers a gritty yet entertaining take on the issues facing people in modern life.

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