American Idiot at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton Review

22-26 January 2019

Reviewed by Leigh Jackman

With a raw anger and angst Green Day’s American Idiot seem so refreshing and energising in today’s PC tolerant society. Exploding from the stage with never ending energy the cast, personified a teenage generation engulfed in disillusionment. Don’t let the theme put you off this really is a must watch show, Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer’s creation is a piece that defines a generation.

Director Racky Plews has produced a masterpiece in raw emotion, the fast edgy choreographed and use of silence juxtaposed against the breath-taking Green Day tunes made some scenes almost too painful to watch. A story with no way out and everyone looking for a way to plug in and tuner off to escape the world we have created there were no easy answers. The use of digital media worked seamlessly with the on-stage action and the interaction with the live band (Robert Wicks, Chris George, Nick Kent, and Charlie Maguire) brought some really humorous moments as well as adding an extra edge to the experience.

Tom Milner portrayed the lead Johnny with a perfect mix of swagger and insecurity along with his cohorts Will (Samuel Pope) and Tunny (Joshua Dowen) desperately look for a way through the hopelessness of the life around them. Each offered a well-polished and at times emotional performance in what was a non-stop challenging performance. Luke Friend, played a disturbing St Jimmy, with obvious enjoyment and good vocal skill.

Sara Perks’ industrial set offered a hope that we were watching a post-apocalyptic fantasy only to be dashed by the raw energy a realistic portrayal of the hopelessness felt by so many today. Really clever use of props brought together a what felt like ever changing set with minimal effort.

Refreshing truthful, energetic performance offering a feast to your eyes and ears.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £19.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).

Green Day’s American Idiot is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 22-26 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.

Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811

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