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From the ensemble sequence set to Holiday, in which a giant rig doubles as a bus, and the never-ending, energetic running around the stage and leaping across platforms, to the wire sequences in which characters take to the sky, the show’s ambition throws up a lot of issues for both cast and crew.

“It is a really tiring show – we come out of it and feel like we’ve left everything on the stage,” Nee says, before telling us of some of the pitfalls found in a live action performance.

“At one of the shows in Southampton the guitar went out of tune,” he reveals. “My character has two guitars, one backstage and one on-stage in case it gets kicked or knocked out of tune [a likely scenario given the athleticism involved in the show].

When I went to take the guitar from backstage I just grabbed the out of tune backstage one by mistake, so now we have them both ready to go.”

Many shows to hit the West End based on ready-made tunes – Jersey Boys, The Bodyguard, Rock Of Ages, We Will Rock You… – rightly or wrongly can be tarred with the ‘jukebox musical’ brush as a simple delivery method for hits with little narrative or emotional accompaniment.

American Idiot though is far from such.

Green Day saw the album from the start as the soundtrack to a story, one way or the other, whether this was to take the shape of a film or stage show later on down the road.

It just works to the show’s benefit that it has a 14 million-copy selling ‘book and lyrics’ on which to base its coming-of-age story.

So whether you’re a punk fan or a musical fan, American Idiot is one not to miss.


American Idiot  Hammersmith Apollo,W6 9QH. December 4-16. £22.50+  
Tube | Hammersmith

Photos: Getty, John Daughtry, Turner Rouse Jr


Sex, drugs and stage musicals: Green Day's American Idiot is about to hit London
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