Theatre Review: Green Day's American Idiot - Hammersmith Apollo ✭✭✭

Green Day's American Idiot

Hammersmith Apollo

Right - American Idiot, The Musical, where to begin?

The story depicts three guys trying to "make it in the world" however end up either, a love stricken drug addict, a young dead beat father or joining the army getting a leg blown off. These guys are obviously meant to be the American Idiots, what with the drugs and getting people pregnant and stuff, however, I wouldn't class anyone in the American Army as an idiot. Had I have been in the army (trust me I'd be awesome!) I'd be quite offended. 

Overall, I'm sad to say I didn't enjoy it. It killed some time and that was good but like I said, it didn't turn me on as much as I hoped it would. I only gave it a 3 out of 5 and there's several reasons for that.

1- Health and Safety
There was an awful lot of head banging and extreme head nodding. On one occasion a girl was being hung upside down whilst nodding away making a slight resemblance to a twitching chicken before slaughter. Ok, that last bit perhaps maybe was exaggerated but, hey! On the flip side, it was good to see so much enthusiasm and passion in their head thrusting. I just pray they have good neck braces and headache pills.

2- Music
It was such a massive, massive, massive shame that the sound quality was so bad. We could see the singers mouths move; but all my ears could register were screaming overprojected lyrics. Having said that, the acoustic numbers and the finale "Hope you had the time of your life" were fantastic. It was just the singer and guitar and this finally gave the cast a chance to show off. One particular female singer; Alyssa DiPalma killed a rendition of "21 guns" and somehow managed to project her voice through the bad PA system. I strongly recommend the production team rectify this problem, purely because its over shadowing the talent of the cast. Perhaps if I were a fan of Green Day and actually knew the lyrics of the songs, it would've been different.

3- Lighting
One point here. The strobes. I'm not epileptic or anything but the level of strobing did seem a tad excessive in some parts. I found myself squinting and averting my eyes just so my retinas weren't burnt out! Another point is that only the back two thirds of the stage were used. One poor lonely bit of stage could've been used to bring the cast closer to the audience, alas no. I did however like the use of the multiple tv screens in the set.

4- The Structure
I know it's a Rock Opera and the whole point is to tell the story through song; but I couldn't help feeling a little dialogue could've tied the songs or the story together. It seemed very disjointed and jumpy. Perhaps if the sound hadn't been so bad, we might have been able to hear the lyrics and it would've made more sense. 

So yeah, a solid 3 out of 5. The production let the cast down, who are obviously very talented but didn't get the chance to really show their worth. It was fantastically average in my opinion but several people stood and applauded and I've no doubt that avid Green Day fans would've had a field day, not I alas. 

One final note; if you do decided to go, take a coat, it gets cold in their and also, look out for the slutty genie in the opening song of the second act and join me in a giggle!

3 stars ✭✭✭

Review by Charlotte Barrett

American Idiot runs until 16th December at Hammersmith Apollo