I was unsure what to expect before seeing the show. While knowing about Green Day, and their music, I had no idea they had created a musical based around their American Idiot album. I was excited to see exactly what it was all about, and how a rock album could be made into a piece of musical theatre.
My expectations for the show were mixed. I already knew I would enjoy the music, therefore I was excited to see how these songs were going to be delivered and performed as musical numbers. After seeing the show, I have to say that the music definitely lived up to these expectations as all the performers were great singers, and really brought the music to life. As I was unsure about the actual premise of the show, my assumptions were not particularly high, but also not particularly low either. As a whole, the production exceeded my expectations as the acting was superb, the singing fantastic, and the ideas behind the show were brilliantly brought to life.
The show began with a television screen showing news reports in America following the 9/11 attacks, displaying the country in fear and full of chaotic thought. We see a few members of the cast frustrated at the situation before breaking into a powerful rendition of American Idiot. We were then introduced to the remaining members of the cast, as well as the band stood up above them behind barred gates. This opening was a fantastic way to start the show as it let us see every member of the cast, but also perfectly displayed the angst of American youth at this point in history.
Related: Find out more about American Idiot
My favourite scene was the beautiful rendition of Wake Me Up When September Ends. It was delivered perfectly by everyone involved, especially Tom Milner who performed this track effortlessly and managed to convey its emotion. While you could tell that they were all engaging their feelings into their performance of the song, Milner provided that ‘something extra’, that just made it a perfect part of the show.
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As a whole the cast was fairly small, but each one stood out individually and made you notice them in different ways. You could never forget any member because they all acted and sang brilliantly. To single one performer out, I would have to say that Tom Milner’s performance as Johnny was outstanding; he meant every word that he sang, that he said, and he made you feel what the character was feeling at each moment – which to me is always the sign of an incredible performer.
This show would appeal to anyone who has ever felt some kind of disenchantment with society, with their government, or with themselves. While on the surface, those who are not fans of Green Day, or grunge rock music in general, may think this show is not for them; but if you have ever felt that you are disconnected from society, that the world would exist perfectly without you, that you are unloved or nobody wants you, and everyone is having fun without you then you need to see this show!
American Idiot is running at Bridlington Spa until Saturday 11th May. Make sure you don’t miss out on this spectacular rock drama!
Words by Natasha Lesko