Previewed 17 July 2015, Opened 22 July 2015, Closed 22 November 2015 at the Arts Theatre
Previewed 8 July 2016, Opened 13 July 2016, Closed 25 September 2016 at the Arts Theatre
Back by public demand! Racky Plews' major revival of the Green Day musical American Idiot in London for a strictly limited season starring The X Factor finalist Amelia Lily.
Set in a post 9/11 world, American Idiot tells the story of three young male friends and their struggle to find a meaning in life. The boys are torn between their safe but stifling homes in suburbia and the exhilarating freedom of the city, which leads them on an emotional journey from angry youth to jaded adulthood.
Featuring songs from Green Day's Grammy Award-winning 2004 album American Idiot including 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams', '21 Guns', 'Wake Me Up When September Ends', 'Holiday' and, of course, the title track, along with songs from their 2009 album '21st Century Breakdown'.
The cast for this 2016 London season features Amelia Lily as 'Whatsername' and Newton Faulkner as 'Johnny' along with Cellen Chugg Jones as 'Theo', Jemma Geanaus as 'Alysha', Alexis Gerred as 'Tunny', Llandyll Gove as 'Gerard', Karina Hind as 'Libby', Emma Housley as 'Heather', Lucas Rush as 'St Jimmy', Steve Rushton as 'Will', Alice Stokoe as 'Extraordinary Girl' and Lawrence Libor. Casting subject to change without notice. Directed and choreographed by Racky Plews with lighting by Tim Deiling and sound by Chris Whybrow. Musical by Green Day with music by Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool and Mike Dirnt, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong and book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer.
Amelia Lily finished third in the 2011 series of The X Factor since when she has released a number of singles including 'You Bring Me Joy' which reached Number 2 in the pop charts. She played the role of 'Narrator' in the Spring 2015 UK tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Racky Plews' West End crediting include choreography for the musical Respect La Diva at the Garrick Theatre in 2011. This production was originally seen in London at the Arts Theatre in 2015.
When this show opened here in July 2015, Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard highlighted how the musical "pulses with raw energy and rage in a manner that very few shows can muster... I've never seen anything quite like it before, and I think that's a compliment." Rachel Ward in the Daily Telegraph explained how, "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." Paul Taylor in the Independent praised how, "for the show's West End premiere, Racky Plews has directed and choreographed a sharp-witted version that throbs with some of the energy of a rock gig (if minus the feeling of unpredictability) while being shrewdly calibrated to suit the intimacy of the 350-seater Arts Theatre. The sound balance is excellent: you can hear all of Billie Joe Armstrong's lyrics." Kate Maltby in the Times hailed how the show is "set alight by Aaron Sidwell's devastating performance as the vein-throbbing punk-boy Johnny." Lyn Gardner in the Guardian described it as being "90 minutes of musical bravado sizzling with sounds of disaffection and anger as well as wistful melodies... But, despite some good central performances, Racky Plews' cramped revival applies a mid-20th-century Broadway approach to a 21st-century musical which could, in a more imaginatively messy staging, be the Hair of its age."
American Idiot premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California in September 2009 before transferring to New York's St. James Theatre in April 2010 where it was nominated for Best Musical at the Tony Awards, and winning two Tonys for 'Best Scenic Design of a Musical' and 'Best Lighting Design of a Musical', and enjoyed a run of just over one year. The US tourng production visited the UK in 2012 for an eight week tour that culminated in a two week run at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theatre.
American Idiot at the Arts Theatre in London previewed from 8 July 2016, opened on 13 July 2015 and closes on 25 September 2015
American Idiot - Apollo Theatre Hammersmith
Previewed 4 December 2012, Opened 5 December 2012, Closed 15 December 2012 at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in London
The UK Premiere of Green Day's award-winning stage musical featuring the US tourng cast.
This major touring production opened in October 2012 at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton before touring to the Wales Milennium Centre in Cardiff; the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh; the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow; the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin; the Palace Theatre in Manchester; the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham; and culminating in a two week run at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in December 2012.
The cast features Alex Nee as 'Johnny', Thomas Hettrick as 'Tunny', Casey O'Farrell as 'Will', Alyssa DiPalma as 'Whatsername', Jenna Rubaii as 'Extraordinary Girl', Kennedy Caughell as 'Heather' and Trent Saunders as 'St. Jimmy', with Aurie Ceylon, Carson Higgins, Antwaun Holley, Daniel C Jackson, Brandon Kalm, John Krause, Alison Morooney, Turner Rouse, Jamal Shuriah, Dustin Harris Smith, Ashley Tobias, Chelsea Turbin and Jared Young. Directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Steven Hoggett, designs by Christine Jones and lighting by Kevin Adams.
When this production opened at the Apollo Hammersmith Theatre in London in December 2012, Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times wrote: "The Apollo is known as a rock venue, and so proves an appropriate crossover space for this staged version of Green Day's 2004 album. Michael Mayer's staging keeps the vast stage animated as much as possible, and the band hit respectable volumes without drowning the lyrics... As for the story, this is, in effect, a Hair for Generation Y: less concerned with identifying a coherent youth subculture, and certainly far less with championing it in the face of the straight mainstream... The choice of venue also indicates that, for this London leg at least, the show is being marketed more to a rock than a theatre constituency. Consequently, Michael Mayer's staging, perhaps primitive by theatrical standards, is adventurous for a gig." Nick Hasted in the Independent thought that the show "is too traditional in its staging and its heart to be the radical experience one great Sex Pistols single would provide. But Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer can be congratulated for the hyper-energetic confidence of what they've attempted." Robert Shore in the London Metro described how "rock music reached its maturity many moons ago but it's yet to embed itself securely in the language of musical theatre: electric guitars and the stage art of storytelling through song continue to resist easy fellowship. But they come together to often sublime effect in this show based on the 2004 Green Day concept album of the same name... Narrative is the show’s weakest suit, although the pictures conjured up by Michael Mayer's dynamic production are worth a thousand words... Musically, it's spectacular... there's never any sense of sameyness, with great vocal arrangements giving the songs extra swell and resonance. Delivered with impassioned precision by a strong touring US cast, the result is an adrenalin rush of a kind rarely seen in musical theatre."
When this production opened at the start of its UK tour at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton in October 2012, Ian Gittins in the Guardian highlighted how "the all-American touring cast turn in a dynamic and exuberant performance... American Idiot is a knotty and challenging piece that adroitly skirts cheesiness, and bravely eschews the easy option of a pat, happy ending. It's another unexpected triumph for a band that have taken more left turns than they are usually given credit for." Marc Lee in the Daily Telegraph thought that the piece "works because it's such a terrific show, bursting with vitality and lit with flashes of visual invention. Though the central characters are never fleshed out and the plot's a bit thin, you're swept along by waves of mayhem and energy – and some great tunes... The 20–strong company, young, well–drilled and impressively limber, fill the stage with relentless exuberance, while the onstage band reproduce the rattle and hum of Green Day with precision and panache. And, in the end, it's the musical numbers, from 21st-Century protest songs to anthems for doomed youth, that are the stars of this rollicking, thunderous but frequently moving show." Will Hodgkinson in the Times said that "with a tight, very loud rock band on stage at all times and a small ensemble cast zipping from one scene to another, the energy never lets up... a happy, enjoyable rock opera that captures the thrill and confusion of being young and foolish. It's just a shame that the context of the story is only hinted at, never developed."
American Idiot in London at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre previewed from 4 December 2012, opened on 5 December 2012 and closed on 15 December 2012.