Four stars for Green Day musical American Idiot

Four stars for Green Day musical American Idiot

Updated On: May 1, 2018
By Nicki McIntyre
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    Green Day musical American Idiot premiered at London's Arts Theatre on 22 July 2015, opening to four star reviews.

    With four stars Paul Taylor of The Independent said, this"pulsating Green Day grunge-fest throbs with energy of a Billie Joe Armstrong gig... Racky Plews has directed and choreographed a sharp-witted version...shrewdly calibrated to suit the intimacy of the 350-seater Arts Theatre."

    In "a virtually through-sung 90 minutes... the album's themes of post 9/11 malaise are provided with a context (at once graphically grungy and sketchy) in the story of three slacker would-be rebels desperate for a cause and their efforts to escape suburbia. Alexis Gerred's meatily voiced Tunny impulsively joins the military, while Steve Rushton's Will lapses into sofa-bound drunken despair at impending then actual fatherhood... Aaron Sidwell transfixingly communicates [Johnny]'s show of cocky, mocking punk-bravado and the underlying insecurity that sees him topple from iconoclasm to heroin-addicted self-destruction when malevolently irresponsible alter ego St Jimmy (Lucas Rush sporting a blond Mohican to his black one) sets himself up as a rival to the girl of his dreams, Amelia Lily's Whatsername."

    The Telegraph's Rachel Ward also gave four stars; "from one hit to another, the audience is fed 90 minutes of uninterrupted chaos, as the show crashes through the barriers of the traditional musical set-up. Yet with its wit and warmth it is likely to win over traditional theatregoers. To paraphrase Green Day: it’s something unpredictable, but you might just have the time of your life."

    "There’s real spark with the X Factor's Amelia Lily as love interest Whatsername, who is wooed by St Jimmy, Johnny's outrageous alter ego... Lucas Rush, complete with blond mohican and a dog collar, brings a rollicking campness to the role."

    Fiona Mountford of the Evening Standard gave American Idiot three stars, calling it "a rough and ready, down and dirty musical... in 90 very loud minutes of anger and angst. I've never seen anything quite like it before, and I think that's a compliment... Director/choreographer Racky Plews has her cast generate a fearsome energy that never relents."

    American Idiot is playing at London's Arts Theatre until Sunday 27 September 2015.