EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Review: AMERICAN IDIOT, C Venues
American Idiot is an adaption of the hit Green Day album of the same name. The musical follows three boys, Johnny, Will and Tunny, in their struggle to find meaning in a broken world.
In recent years, American Idiot has become something of a staple at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in 2018 there are two different versions.
This production is brought to life by Edinburgh University Footlights, a student-run musical theatre group, and the young cast seem to have enough energy to power all of Edinburgh.
The production opens with the cast holding masks of famous Americans over their face. Masks of the likes of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein are there to remind us that it is a challenging world we are living in - the perfect backdrop for American Idiot. It's a shame that this was a token gesture and the director, Maddie Flint, didn't choose to revisit it.
The cast throughout are entirely committed to putting on the best possible show that they can. The camaraderie and spirit the company share is incredibly impressive.
This does however lead to a lack of control, and the vocals are somewhat over-produced. A lot more technique is needed to sustain such a tricky score. The cast also weren't helped by numerous missed mic cues and lighting that seemed to focus more on the band, at times, rather than the action.
But it needs to be remembered that this is a student production, and there are much stronger vocals in the quieter and more sensitive moments.
Matt Galloway, as Johnny, really settles into the role and there is some lovely character development; he handles some difficult, intimate scenes with maturity. There's also a beautiful pas de deux between Tunny (Liam Bradbury) and Extraordinary Girl (Trevor Lin), as he hallucinates in his bed after being injured in the war.
The company spirit is at its finest as the cast and band take to the stage for their bows for an acoustic version of "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)". This is an ambitious and committed student production, and the cast have to be admired for fitting it in amongst their studies at the University of Edinburgh.