Wednesday, 1 June 2016

American Idiot

King's Theatre, Glasgow
Three stars

With the U.S. Elections looming, the uninitiated might presume a show called American Idiot to concern itself with the no longer amusing rise of Donald Trump. As it is, the ever enterprising Sell A Door theatre company's touring revival of American nouveau punk trio Green Day's rock opera stays faithful to the show's loose-knit narrative of three young men coming of age in a post 9/11 world.

Director and choreographer Racky Plewes' quasi-boutique production also has the added advantage of real life rock star Newton Faulkner at the centre of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's songbook. All of which makes an audience young enough to have barely registered the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York something of a devoted audience.

Faulkner plays Johnny, who with his buddies Tunny and Will ekes out a stoner's existence on the sofa, guitar sometimes in hand. Motivated by the spectacle playing out on their TV screen, the trio decide to make something of their lives and jump the bus for an adventure in the big city. Except that Will's girl is pregnant, which means he must stay at home. Tunny joins up for the Iraq war, while Johnny finds his dream girl only to lose her in a fug of drugs.

All this is delivered with gusto by a well-drilled cast led by Faulkner, Alexis Gerred as Tunny and former Son of Dork bass player Steve Rushton as Will. A supporting cast including Amelia Lily as the charmingly monickered Whatshername are powered along by a live band playing Armstrong's angry anthems in a wake up call for doomed youth everywhere.

The Herald, June 2nd 2016

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