American Idiot – The Green Day Musical

American Idiot the Green Day Musical blog review

Can we take a minute to be amazed by the fact that Green Day’s American Idiot is TWELVE YEARS OLD. I remember picking it up when it came out, and it was one of the first story-telling concept albums I’d listened to. I loved it. Although, not as much as I loved Warning. But still, I pretty much had it on non-stop for weeks.

Usually, jukebox musicals aren’t my bag. Probably because I’m not really into a lot of the music that they use for them. But when I was offered the chance to check out the Green Day musical, American Idiot, courtesy of the nice folk at BoxOffice.co.uk, I was obviously totally keen. Based on the aforementioned album of the same name (obviously), the band and particularly songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong played a key role in the musical’s development.

But anyway, the bit y’all wanna know about. Is it actually any good?

Firstly, as a Green Day fan, I honestly  wasn’t 100% sold. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to hearing the tunes in Billie Joe Armstrong’s instantly recognisable voice. Or maybe because seeing punk rock songs with dance routines is a pretty alien thing. Title track ‘American Idiot’, which opened the show, perhaps overdid the ‘SO TOTALLY PUNK’ thing a little too much. This is something I did grow to accept and warm to as the evening went on. Huge props to the entire cast though, who gave fantastic and engaging vocal performances all round. X Factor star Amelia Lily (as ‘Whatsername’) showed that her pop vocal translates effortlessly to the stage, filling the entire theatre. And pop bloke Newton Faulkner in the lead as Johnny was at his best performing with just his guitar – but he definitely gave the punk rocker thing a good go.

As a theatre fan? It was pretty bloody brilliant. The group numbers are fun and entertaining, particularly ‘Holiday’, which is given fun physicality of a bus journey to the city. The ‘Jesus of Surburbia’ section, which happens early on, does a fantastic job of moving the plot along and allows multiple cast members to shine. The character of St Jimmy, played by Lucas Rush, was a particular standout – brimming with hectic energy.

The small stage is made full use of with split levels and simple props that manage to create identifiable scenes and locations. Having a live band on the stage was great, and it was refreshing to see the three main male cast members actually playing their guitars. (I assume they were actually playing their guitars anyway, or else they acted it out pretty well…)

From listening to the American Idiot album from the start, it’s clear it tells a story. The representation of the story on stage is well-scripted, pretty much how I’d have pictured it playing out in my head. The final track, ‘Whatsername’, takes the audience back through the story and explains how everything played out – particularly who St Jimmy really is (although, if you’ve listened to the album, you’d already know).

Despite my initial reservations about a Green Day musical as a fan, I actually really enjoyed checking out American Idiot. It’s definitely worth a watch, whether you’re into that kind of music, or just theatre in general.

American Idiot: The Green Day Musical runs until 25th September at Arts Theatre, London. Tickets are available via BoxOffice.co.uk.

*I was given a pair of tickets to review the show. Opinions and punk rock spirit (lol) all my own.

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  • Leanne Dolan

    I’ve become quite the fan of theatre shows recently, slowly building the list of shows I want to see. I hadnt thought to see this one though!

  • Amy

    Wow I never knew there was a musical! I was never really into Green Day but some of my friends used to love them 🙂

  • Carly Markham

    I actually just rebought this album last week as I have no idea what happened to mine and I found it in a charity shop! Awesome album! Would love to go see the musical!

  • I have not heard of Green Day, but that would not surprise anyone who knows me, I do not venture out of my little bubble of music that I know and like. I will have to have a listen x

  • I refuse to believe this album is 12 years old!!!!!! I loved it when it first came out ♥

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  • Sounds like a good show – I’ve loved Green Day since Basketcase!

  • I saw this the first time it toured but I am planning to go again this time around as I love Amelia and Newton x

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    Wow, is it really 12 years old? I still haven’t seen this musical and I am a HUGE Green Day fan!

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    How did I not even know about this?! Where have I been!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I haven’t hear of this show before. I have a friend that would love it!

  • Laura

    I used to love listening to America Idiot back in the day! This sounds like it would be a fab musical to see xxx

  • Beautyqueenuk

    Now this I think I would really enjoy, just need someone to come with me x

  • Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    My husband would love this – sounds like lots of fun!

  • Ah, this sounds amazing! How did I not know this was even happening, I was even right next door to here the other day and took no notice of what it actually was. I just recognised the sign! xx

  • I am not a fan of Green Day, but even I think it’s cool that this musical is a thing! I wish more bands had stuff like this.

  • I saw this the last time it was in London and even though it was totally try hard at times I got completely sucked into the energy of the show.

  • GlamourGlitterGloss

    I wasn’t really a Green Day fan in general but I did LOVE American Idiot. I’ve always been intrigued by musicals based on actual bands, who knew it was 12 years though since the release

  • This is a great idea if you’re a fan of Green Day. I’m sure fans would love it.