Thursday, 23 July 2015

Review: American Idiot at the Arts Theatre

American Idiot
Arts Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 22nd July 2015

Having opened on Broadway in 2010, Green Day musical American Idiot previously toured the UK in 2012. Three years later the show is back, with an all new production directed and choreographed by Racky Plews at the West End's Arts Theatre.

Following three friends who find themselves lost in the world following 9-11, American Idiot is a passionate show. The 'searching for the meaning of life' story occasionally gets lost between the loud and punchy musical numbers which never stop coming.

The score features all the tracks from Green Day's American Idiot album as well as a few numbers from their 21st Century Breakdown album. Beforehand I wasn't sure how much of the music I was going to know, but it turned out I knew pretty much the majority of the score which features the likes of 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams', '21 Guns', 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' and 'Holiday'. 

Aaron Sidwell gives a career defining performance as Johnny. His energy and commitment is unmatchable and he gets the tone spot on. Sidwell owns the stage and has the time of his life, giving a triumphant performance.

Elsewhere Alexis Gerred is strong as Tunn; his vocal tone is perfect for the score and he has strong presence throughout. Lucas Rush fully embraces every moment as St. Jimmy whilst Natasha Barnes and former X Factor contestant Amelia Lily showcase some feisty vocals as Heather and Whatshername. There's also a brilliantly hilarious cameo appearance from Ross William Wild.

The music is great and the story is perfectly entertaining, but certain numbers feel a little out of place and the storyline progression is sometimes odd. The Arts Theatre may be extremely hot, but the show lends itself to the smaller space. Running under two hours without an interval, American Idiot is a fiery show performed by a hard working cast. As long as you love the music, this production is good fun.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

American Idiot runs at the Arts Theatre until 27th September 2015.
Please visit for information and tickets

Photo Credit: Darren Bell

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