Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | American Idiot UK Tour

1 Kildare St, Leicester LE1 3YH, UK

American Idiot UK Tour

Leicester Haymarket Theatre
Photo Credit: Mark Dawson Photography.

Storming onto the stage of the newly refurbished Leicester Haymarket Theatre was the Green Day's American Idiot musical and it was an unforgetful night for the theatre's history books after 13 years since the last production in this venue! 

American Idiot is the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world. The young people respond to the lack of direction brought on by the conflicting images and propaganda through the media. The musical is very centred around their response to this and the different journeys they take to find themselves. These paths are really believable and raw. It has the added bonus of a brilliant score from the music of multi-Grammy award winning band Green Day which is nostalgic for those people who lived through their music. But you really do not need to be a fan of the band to get to grips with this electrifying musical! 

Award-winning production company Selladoor gives the musical a fresh feel for its 10th Anniversary tour in spectacular style with an impressive cast, ingenious set design and live band. That alone makes for an impressive show and one that will indefinitely have you glued to your seat.

American Idiot shines a light on some fantastic talent, particularly with Tom Milner, Luke Friend and Sam Lavery. Milner personifies the punk-rock persona but with a fantastic voice to complete his character. Friend was an intimidating character who portrayed all of the perceived evils of that scene. Lavery in her professional debut on stage was great, her character wasn't fleshed out as a character but the character itself played an integral part to the main plotline. Although, her vocals were flawless and added power to the songs. However, individually the performance of the night for me was from Samuel Pope who played Will. He was fixed to a lot to the set and we experienced his journey just as much as Johnny (Tom Milner) and I genuinely rooted for this character through the very end. 

Read more: Interview with Sam Lavery about American Idiot UK Tour.

The production comes with a lack of narrative as it solely focuses on the musical score. However,  we are gripped to the raw emotion of the actors. They rely on the on the song lyrics and themes to help convey the desired feeling and mood. Sometimes however it's the lack of both dialogue and music that conveys the strongest message as we watch one of the lead cast members battle with an addiction to hard drugs with no sounds but the grunts, sigh and skin slapping on skin that comes with taking heroin leaving the audience enraptured. 

The construction of the set also allowed the cast to sometimes tell two parts of the story simultaneously while not detracting from the impact of either. This meant the stage was always full of action wherever you looked.

The roars of applause and a standing ovation to complete the night, American Idiot was a fantastic night at the theatre through to the very last bar. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

You can catch American Idiot at Leicester Haymarket Theatre until Sat 2 March. Book your tickets here

If you enjoyed reading this review you may also enjoy reading my review of Rock of Ages, also currently touring the UK thanks to Selladoor! 


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