Two North East stars are set to rock audiences at the Sunderland Empire this week.
Amelia Lily, from Nunthorpe, near Middlesbrough, who was an X Factor finalist in 2011, will star alongside Jarrow-born actress Alice Stokoe in American Idiot, the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world.
Lily follows fellow reality TV star Lola Saunders at the Empire, after her successful stint in Save The Last Dance For Me.
The show features the music of US rock band Green Day, with the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, and is based on the book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer. Winner of two Tony Awards and the 2010 Grammy Award victor for Best Musical Show Album, American Idiot includes hit songs 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, multi-platinum album. Also included are several songs from Green Day’s 2009 release 21st Century Breakdown, and an unreleased love song, When It’s Time.
Double-platinum-selling artist Newton Faulkner takes on the part of Johnny after Matt Thorpe opened the role in March. One of the UK’s finest contemporary singer-songwriters, Newton’s unique style of guitar playing and soaring vocals have made him a worldwide success since he burst onto the music scene back in 2007.
Alongside Newton, Lily will be reprising her critically-acclaimed role, Whatsername, and Stokoe, the daughter of BBC Look North front-man Jeff Brown, plays Extraordinary Girl. She had previously starred in Mammia Mia! in the West End.
Alexis Gerred (Tunny), Llandyll Gove (Gerard), Lucas Rush (St Jimmy) and Steve Rushton (Will) will also be reprising their roles from the London production at the Arts Theatre.
American Idiot has recently won five Broadway World UK Awards and seven WhatsOnStage Award nominations, including ones for Best Musical Revival, Best Direction and Best Choreography, as well as a number of nominations and awards for returning cast members, Steve Rushton, Lucas Rush and Alexis Gerred. • American Idiot is at Sunderland Empire from today (May 24) until Saturday (May 28). Tickets are available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your standard network charge. Booking fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.