Meet the Cast – American Idiot (Pannic Productions)

After waiting 10 years for theatrical rights to become available, Pannic Productions move into the newly refurbished QUT Gardens Theatre this week in preparation for the Queensland community theatre premiere of Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT.

The cast very kindly made time to sit down and chat with me about working on the show, their characters, and their favourite numbers to perform. Read more about the production HERE, or scroll on to hear from the cast.


1

Scott Edward Johnson / playing Johnny

“Johnny’s a mess of a human being, seriously. Starts off as a bit of an angry narcissist, to an extent, and finishes the show maybe exactly the same, but who knows? Maybe a little bit smarter. But he could be one of those people who just ends up living the same mistakes over and over again. I think we all know people like that.”

“He thinks that he should be living more of a life. He is over suburbia, over that mundane reality that most people live in. He goes out to find something more and finds love, but also a lot of inner demons that consume him. It’s a big life lesson. You want every love story to end happily in a musical, but sometimes the reality is that you only get one of those, and you get a lot of shitty ones as well. I guess this is the story of a shitty love story.”


2

Thomas Armstrong Robley / playing St Jimmy

“St Jimmy is, spoiler alert, not real. I actually play the lead character’s alter ego. It’s a naughty thing, but he takes some drugs and then, hey presto! I appear. If I had to describe him, it would be Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Willy Wonka, and Fagan from Oliver. You pick a pocket or two, but they’re full of drugs. He has no regard for anybody but himself and literally just aims to create utter chaos which is, as you can imagine for an actor, a lot of fun to play.”

“I suppose everyone has a bad side. I think there’s always a part of us which would like to be supremely naughty. Obviously, I’m taking it to an extreme with substance abuse, dealing with lots of very dark issues. Doing all of the things you wanted to do as a kid, taking it back to a very childlike thing is very interesting. You grow up and hopefully your parents tell you what is right and wrong. It’s going back and looking at the things that are ‘wrong’…and doing them anyway.”


3

Kaitlyn Maxwell / playing Whatsername

“Whatsername is this punky, rock girl that Johnny meets once he moves to the city. She is unapologetically independent and girl power until she meets Johnny and puts love first, which I think everyone can relate to at some stage of their life. Eventually, she realises she loses that in herself once she falls in love, and bursts out about it in a really belty song during the second half of the show, gets really angry.”

“When you’re a method actor, you have to draw on past experiences and make it as ‘you’ as possible. At first it was channeling this sexy, individual, really powerful woman and that was a big challenge for me. But I focused on things that I’ve done in my life that made me proud to be individual and proud to be powerful and go “yeah, I am good enough”. When it comes to angriness, I focus everything that’s ever hurt me, draw on a lot of past experiences.”

“I adore When It’s Time, which is a song that Johnny sings to Whatsername. This show is 110% ‘up’ all the time. It is so full on, and so that’s the one bit in this musical where it gives the audience a chance to sit back and breathe, listen, and absorb the beautiful story, the beautiful love story in this angsty world. There’s allowed to be love when you’re angry at things.”

“Letterbomb is a moment where every woman in the cast has come onstage. It’s getting out and going “we are stronger than fuckboys”. It’s the high energy female punk rock f-you to every guy who’s ever done you wrong. You see so many musical theatre productions which are ‘I hate that girl because she stole my boyfriend’ whereas this is ‘We are women. We are here together. We’re not going to take this’. It makes you so proud.”


4

Isaac Brown / playing Will

“Will is a 20-something suburbanite whose diet consists of cigarettes, beer, and depression. He’s been put in this situation, of his own doing…he’s got a pregnant girlfriend who he is obligated to stay with, a high school love that has continued further than it should have. He gets stuck in this cycle of depression, which I’m sure most people can relate to at some point in their lives. It’s difficult to not let yourself sink into a bit of depression while playing him, because it’s accessing some very real and very poignant emotions.”


5

Amanda Harris / playing Heather

“It’s a very powerful, emotional show and I think there’s something that everyone can relate to on some level, for better or for worse. I think you see parts of yourself in it, in different places. I think it affects all of us in different ways, doing the show, and it’s something we will probably carry with us afterwards. The cast, the crew, the production team are just phenomenal. It’s one of the best shows I’ve ever been a part of.”

“For me, playing Heather, it’s being able to bring some sort of truth to it, being able to portray her in a way that is human. She leaves Will and becomes a bit of a haunting presence in his mind for the rest of the show. The thing about this show is that there are things to love and hate in every character. Being able to portray her in a way that is human, being able to give life to that, is fulfilling.”


6

Adam Goodall / playing Tunny

“Originally, I saw Tunny as the supposed tough guy of the group, but looking further into it he follows Johnny like a little lost puppy. He’s trying to find the path that’s right for him. He learns what he wants, and the value of life. He gains a greater appreciation for the friends he had back home. It’s been enlightening, to put it one way. It’s been an eye-opener for me. It’s been fun.”

“The biggest takeaways for me…it’s for now, not forever. There’s always the chance to come back and rekindle friendships. If something’s not working out now, time can be the best thing for it. Keep in mind that everybody has their own path. Just because they veer off on one doesn’t mean they don’t still love you as a person. Everybody has their own journey, and it’s about appreciating the time you’ve had with those people.”


7

Georgia Murray / playing Extraordinary Girl

“I think our story, in comparison to the other leading couples, resonates in a different way because we’re thrown into this situation, we don’t bring it on ourselves.”

“I think that the nurturing side of Extraordinary Girl comes quite naturally to me, but I don’t have any experience with the army so that been a challenge for me to tap into and really grasp a full understanding. Tapping into that emotionally has been a very beautiful but sad kind of challenge. We get real emotional onstage with it. That’s been something as an actor that I’ve really enjoyed exploring.”


8

Sarah & Nicole Bovey / Ensemble

Sarah: “We grew up dancing together, ever since we were little. Musical theatre is something that is still pretty new to us, but we have some really experienced and guiding people around us, they definitely play a huge part in helping us find what we’re supposed to do. We always have a lot of input into what we want to do, and they help us to better that.”

Nicole: “We’re part of the ensemble, but we’re not just background noise like in some shows. I think we’re quite vital to the storytelling of the show. Sometimes we’re real people, sometimes we’re part of Johnny’s subconscious, extensions of what’s going on in his head. We get to play a multitude of characters throughout the production which is challenging but a lot of fun.”


Ticketing and further information are available on Pannic Productions’ website. This production is recommended for ages 16+.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: