REVIEW: Green Day’s American Idiot, Opera House, Blackpool

Tom Milner as Johnny and Luke Friend as St Jimmy in Green Day's American Idiot
Tom Milner as Johnny and Luke Friend as St Jimmy in Green Day's American Idiot

Stunning, exhilerating, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining from first minute to last.

The stage version of Green Day’s 2004 album is a glorious piece of 21st century theatre and the talented young cast really made the most of the material as the show began its Blackpool debut run.

As a fan of Green Day for a couple of decades – and of rock opera pioneers The Who for twice as long – I have to admit I am biased, but the music is the star of the show.

The key to the success of its staging is the interpretation of the material by director/choreographer Racky Plews and her cast.

Racky, who previously followed a run of the show in the West End with a national tour in 2016, is immensely skilled at bringing the very best out of whoever takes the roles and Tom Milner is in memorable form as Johnny, around whom the story of post-9/11 America revolves.

Sam Lavery as Whatsername, the object of Johnny’s affections, and Luke Friend as St Jimmy, Johnny’s ‘shadow’ as he descends into a life of drugs, are both also in great voice, while Joshua Dowen and Samuel Pope as Johnny’s friends Tunny and Will respectively are also particularly impressive.

But the entire cast – and notably the band on stage to bring Green Day’s roof-raising rockers and spine-tingling ballads to life – deserve every credit for a show which leaves a lasting impression, complete with ‘surprise’ bonus final song.

It’s clear throughout that they all thoroughly enjoy being involved in the show - and their energy and enthusiasm are utterly infectious.

Green Day’s American Idiot is at Blackpool Opera House until Saturday.

Ticket details from www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk or (01253) 625252.