American Idiot the Musical performed at the Arts Theatre Lucas Rush as St Jimmy ©Alastair Muir 22.07.15

American Idiot

Reviewer's Rating

The alternative, punk – rock band, Green Day, has finally reached the West End after winning several Grammy awards for the best rock album. The dynamic, edge of the entire performance transcends the songs and the words themselves, bringing a rock-and-roll, intensity to the show.

The album’s theme of angst and alienation is successfully played out through three friends who decide to escape into the bright lights of the city. Johnny, driven my male chauvinism and rebellion becomes a heroin addict and a womanizer; Alexis Gerred seduced by the television screens boasting power and patriotism decides to join the army; Will smokes weed and watches television all day as waits to become a father. These three boys exemplify the inner turmoil involved in becoming a man and growing up in a disillusioned society.

The set is designed to immediately send Green Day’s subversive political message to the audience with a mockery of George Bush speaking on the television. He first states, ‘Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists’, and then later when a man asks who should the US invade next, he responds, ‘I’m thinking Italy.’ This political stunt criticizes the Bush administration for their foreign policies and supposedly, poor decisions during the Gulf War. This idea comes to life with a real army bombarding the typical, teenage bedroom upstairs, which demonstrates how ordinary Americans are not safe to watch the horrors of the world from the safety of their home, blurring the line between war and the powerful influences of the media and television.

The powerful songs charged with Green Day’s angst-ridden vocals will grab your attention with every explosion of love, drugs and rock-and-roll throughout this sexually charged, hedonistic musical, bordering on anarchy.