Waterloo Road’s Tom Milner teams up with X Factor’s Luke Friend and Sam Lavery for Green Day’s American Idiot

A DECADE after it burst onto Broadway, Green Day’s American Idiot returns to The Playhouse.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 1:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 1:11 pm
American Idiot - Sam Lavery as whatersname and Tom Milner as Johnny

A ground breaking Tony award-winning rock musical with songs by the punk-pop and multi Grammy award-winning band Green Day, American Idiot is a tale of youthful disillusion and mistrust of society and government that has never been more current.

Winner of two Tony Awards and the 2010 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album, American Idiot tells the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world.

Leading the cast on the current tour is Waterloo Road’s Tom Milner, as Johnny, with 2013’s X Factor’s Luke Friend, as drug dealer St Jimmy and 2016 X Factor finalist Sam Lavery as Whatsername.

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Hit songs include Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Holiday and the blockbuster title track American Idiot from Green Day’s 2004 Grammy Award-winning album.

Also included are several songs from Green Day’s 2009 release 21st Century Breakdown, and an unreleased love song, When It’s Time.

Friend says, “The score is incredible and the music is so nostalgic for a lot of people. When Green Day were writing American Idiot, they were all going through a mad time.

“They were super angry with the world. Not much has changed. There’s still a lot of very awful people out there, so it still resonates today.”

Of his character he adds, “St Jimmy is a skitty maniac. Crazy. He’s got a lot of attitude. He’s a very complex character and I love playing him; trying to taunt people, taking control of the stage and taking over everything is great fun.”

For Lavery, the show is an emotional roller-coaster.

“I was surprised by how emotional it is. When I do gigs, I get emotional with songs, but this is different…

“Even when we’re in the wings, some of us will start crying because you get drawn in by it.

“In the show, I sing Letterbomb. That song’s full of rage. I come off stage after that and I am absolutely raging. I’m angry. The emotion stays with me.”

Like his co-stars Milner too is caught up in the production, and says, “My character Johnny has not had the best of upbringings and has a lot of deep lying issues. He takes everything that comes his way - sex, drugs and rock and roll. It’s about making the right choice in life. Sometimes we don’t.”

American Idiot, Playhouse, Greenside Place, 5-9 February, 7.30pm (2.30pm), £17.90-£90.90, 0844-871 3014