If you’d told me when I was a punk rock obsessed teenager that I’d see Green Day performed as musical theatre I would’ve laughed. And even before seeing last night’s performance of American Idiot at The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford I was cynical.
The band and their songs are known for being political so would I be sitting through a 2 hour rant about politics with a few Green Day songs thrown in for good measure? The answer was no. What I did sit through (barely – as what I really wanted to do was bounce around), was a kick-ass, high energy, non-stop show following the journey of three friends in a post 9/11 world.
The story covers all of the taboo hard hitting issues that always have been and still are at the forefront of Green Day’s music – war, guns, government, propaganda, drugs… I could go on. The songs of the album American Idiot artfully narrate the story of our three friends, Johnny (Tom Milner), Tunny (Joshua Dowen) and Will (Samuel Pope) as they navigate their way from suburbia and back again.
A few of my favourite songs throughout the performance were Jesus of Suburbia, St Jimmy, and 21 Guns although the show was honestly so good it was hard to pick favourites. And of course, you can’t have a performance of Green Day music without a live band who were extraordinary. Perched high up throughout the performance they thrashed out song after song and were just as riveting to watch as the show going on beneath them.
I cannot get across how mind blowing and absolutely amazing this show was. The cast put their heart and soul into it and never seemed to stop. Every single one of them was filled with such talent, but although Tom Milner delivered an amazing and haunting performance as drug addled Johnny, my favourite has to be Luke Friend. He plays the unlikeable character of St Jimmy with such power and amazing forceful raspy vocals that I found myself drawn to him the entire performance.
I can honestly say this is the best musical I have ever seen, and I’ve seen a few. The combination of the punk rock music, the hard-hitting storyline, and the incredible cast make it a show not to be missed. I would highly recommend this to any Green Day fan.
Tickets cost from £18 to £41.50 (booking fees may apply).
Green Day’s American Idiot is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 10-15 June 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000