THEATRE REVIEW – AMERICAN IDIOT – MAYFLOWER

AMERICAN IDIOT

10-year Anniversary Tour of Green Days hit musical

I love Green Day. Dookie was the first rock album I bought, and I still listen to it now. They’re a great band and write incredible songs so I was really really excited to see this show.

I’ll be honest I didn’t really do much research into it, all I knew was the little bits I’d seen on YouTube and the fact that the show is basically a visual telling of the album of the same name. The bio likens it to Pink Floyds ‘The Wall’, Quadrophenia and Tommy. I would go with it being most like ‘The Wall’ because quite honestly it makes NO sense!! That’s not to say that it was bad. It was just really odd. I found it quite hard to follow and didn’t think the story was as strong as the music was.

That being said, I didn’t hate it.

I think… It followed the story of 3 friends who head off in different directions in life. It isn’t for kids. There is a lot of drug use and drug references in this show. It’s not your average fun, happy, night out at a musical type of performance. There are some fun parts but for the most part this is not an uplifting type of show.

The casting was great in this. I was really surprised by Luke Friend who played the part of St Jimmy (a character I still can’t figure out if was a metaphor for heroin or if it was in fact a real person). He was fantastically OTT and camp and it really suited him. I was actually stunned as just how good he was. I’m looking forward to seeing him in more shows. He’s a really great showman, I just wish the part was a little bigger for him.

You all know Sam Lavery was also in this, starring as ‘Whatshername’. She’s been in a good few times and she’s incredible. What an outstanding voice she had and her performance of ‘Letterbomb’ was one of the highlights of the show for me.

As I said I did struggle to follow this. Although the second half did seem to make more sense and tie up some of the story. And then when it all made sense and you think it’s ended there’s an extra bit that confuses it all even more.

I’m genuinely not sure what I thought of this show. I can’t fault the performance, the costuming or the actual production of the show. The music was incredible, vocals were amazing. But I can’t help feeling like the script and story were somewhat lacking.  The cast were all so incredible and I think they needed a little more to work with to show their full potential. There were some outstanding parts of the show that showed just how talented Tim Milner is as an actor. There’s one scene with no dialogue and is just him on his own in silence showing the effects of drug taking. It was so quiet in the theatre you could hear a pin drop and was incredibly moving.  There should have maybe been a bit more of that and a little less of the big dancing numbers. It was very strange hearing songs like this with what is essentially expressive dance alongside it. It works but it was very odd.

I’m glad I’ve seen it and it’s an interesting show to watch. I’m not sure if it’s one I would rush to watch again but I will definitely be looking out for shows that Tom Milner stars in, I’d love to see what he can do with a script that challenges him a little more.

AMERICAN IDIOT IS AT THE MAYFLOWER UNTIL 26TH JANUARY TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FROM WWW.MAYFLOWER.ORG.UK

Review by Jodie Brough – Follow me on Twitter @jodievoicefm

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