American Idiot

Date 25th April 2024
Society Centrestage Productions Youth Theatre
Venue The Plaza Theatre, Romsey.
Type of Production Musical
Director Mike Mullen
Musical Director Rachel Thorpe and Ian Partridge
Choreographer Summer Hughes
Written By Music by Green Day, Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer


Author: Mark Allen

A new venue for me with CPYT at the Plaza Romsey, which is a more "traditional" style of venue. After grabbing my ticket, found my seat in the auditorium, I was greeted with the stage being covered with a huge stars and stripes which hid the stage. The cast were all in and around the audience in their 2000's American Punk youth costumes. The scene was set!

American Idiot is a musical based on the music of "Green Day" and tells the tale of three American suburban youths trying to navigate their way through the demands that places on them (drink, drugs, teenage pregnancy) you get the idea!

The lights dimmed, the flag fell to the ground, the band set off and the cast flooded the stage with real energy and gusto. The set was a combination of wood and corrugated iron sheets as flats to both stage left and stage right, with the band across the back and to the left, an integral part of the set's makeup. And the band of ten led by Ian Partridge and Rachel Thorpe, made quite a noise, they needed too, to keep up with an energetic cast, who were obviously there to enjoy themselves, which was quite evident. The Lighting provided and programmed by Alex Edwards was inventive and really added to the overall mood swings that occurred over the 90 minutes this one act musical ran. The sound, Rich Wyeth and Mark Bourne was spot on. I can imagine with all the various inputs from the individual members of cast at any given time must have been challenging, but from my perspective a challenge well met. Didn't notice any drops.

The choreography was slick and in keeping with the "Rock Opera" feel that American Idiot is. All the cast were sharp and on point. They knew where and why they were there, and more importantly when. They had obviously been well rehearsed by Mike Mullen as Director and Summer Hughes as Choreographer. The diction overall was very good, given that the music was raucous and fast and the choreography quick and challenging in places.

The three main protagonists, Josh Van Der Sleen as Johhny, Paul Madden as Will and Jack Fenner as Tanny all brought great characterization to their respective parts, they were all very believable and were very ably backed up by Liv Harder as Heather, Grace Warne as Whatsername with Kodie Carne as St. Jimmy and Immie Crabtree as Extraordinary Girl plus the whole host of cast that came on and off stage with enormous regularity! Remembering all those entrances, some feat, again testament to the direction and rehearsals. 

This was a rocky, loud, brash and emotional musical that is certainly aimed at "a certain age!" but the audience were enthralled and loved every minute, and so did I. Well done CPYT, Bravo. 

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