Having grown up in West Yorkshire, Tom Milner has many happy memories of childhood trips to Blackpool to see the lights.
Now, he and his fellow cast members are set to illuminate the stage of the Opera House with American Idiot The Musical, which has seen early rave reviews on its current tour.
The production is adapted from the 2004 album of the same name by the American punk band Green Day originally written as a reaction to the policies of then US president George W Bush.
The songs, which range from roof-raising rockers to tender ballads, has taken on a new significance during the White House tenure of Donald Trump and the current tour celebrates 10 years since the musical was initially launched on Broadway.
Tom, 27, is delighted to have been cast as Johnny, one of three disaffected young men – Will and Tunny being the others – around whom the story centres. While Will stays at home with his pregnant girlfriend, Johnny and Tunny flee a stifling suburban lifestyle,
Tunny quickly gives up on life in the city, joins the military and is shipped off to war, while Johnny turns to drugs, finds a part of himself he grows to dislike, has a relationship and experiences lost love.
“I been a great fan of Green Day’s music for years so it’s an absolute pleasure to be singing their songs every night,” said Tom.
“The audience reaction on the tour so far has been brilliant and I am really looking forward to coming to Blackpool.
“I grew up not too far away and we used to come along to see the Illuminations.
“I’ve also performed on one of the piers, supporting Blue, so I have many happy memories of Blackpool and it will be great to play the Opera House.”
While Johnny’s fate is at the centre of the story, Tom is quick to stress the cast is very much an ensemble and is delighted to be part of the latest group brought together by director Racky Plews, who previously took the production on tour in 2016 after a long run at the Arts Theatre in London.
“We all get on really well,” said Tom. “Touring for so long is like being with family. I was really impressed with Racky’s work when she directed a production my girlfriend was in and was really keen to work with her.”
Tom has sung on TV’s The Voice as well as acting in the likes of Waterloo Road and Holby City and feels musical theatre provides the best of both worlds.
Alongside Tom, two former X Factor contestants Luke Friend and Sam Lavery play Johnny’s ‘alter ego’ St Jimmy and girlfriend Whatsername respectively.
American Idiot: The Musical is at the Opera House from March 5 to 9. Ticket details from www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk or (01253) 625252