BWW Review: AMERICAN IDIOT, King's Theatre, Glasgow, May 31 2016

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American Idiot follows three childhood friends and the different directions their lives take post 9/11. Set to the 2004 album of the same name by Green Day, the music is perfect for the disillusioned young men.

Jimmy stays at home with his pregnant girlfriend while his friends Johnny and Tommy leave their small town in search of something better. Tommy enrols in the army and Johnny turns to drugs. While it is not the most uplifting storyline the rocky score keeps the energy levels high.

A surprise choice in casting was folk singer Newton Faulkner. Any reservations anyone had about his ability to rock vanished the second he hit the stage. Faulkner's vocals are sublime, especially on tracks like Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends.

There isn't a weak link among the cast - all performances are excellent. The accents are spot on, the vocals are fantastic and the live band are phenomenal. Amelia Lily excelled in the disappointingly few songs that she performed. From beautiful renditions of 21 Guns to the high energy rock song Letterbomb, you can see why she has received rave reviews for this role.

American Idiot last came to Glasgow in 2012 in a much larger venue. While I thoroughly enjoyed it back then, it was much better in a theatre setting rather than a concert auditorium. American Idiot is a show that should be enjoyed in small packed-out venues, and it should be loud. Very very loud.

While the title album is featured in its entirety, there are a few additional songs. Both original for the musical and from the 2009 album 21st Century Breakdown, the track list flows perfectly.

It wasn't the typical crowd at the King's tonight and it is always a pleasure to see new audiences at the theatre. The reception was fantastic and the evening was rounded off with a full house standing ovation. American Idiot may not be high brow theatre but it is a stunning celebration of one of the greatest albums ever written.

American Idiot is at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until Saturday 4th June.



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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue