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X Factor's Luke Friend to star in American Idiot The Musical

UK X Factor fan favourite Luke Friend has been announced today to star in the lead role of ‘St Jimmy’ when American Idiot the Musical lands in New Zealand this October.

Popular with both fans and judges in his season of the UK X Factor, Friend’s distinctive dreadlocked look as well as powerful raspy voice saw him reach the finals of the hit show with Adele at the time describing him as ‘ridiculously good’ and singer Seal describing his rendition of Kiss From a Rose as ‘one of his favorites’.

“It has always been an absolute dream of mine to head over to NZ and I am honoured to have this opportunity to help present American Idiot The Musical to you all,” says Friend. “I am also a massive Lord of the Rings fan, so I am excited to take a trip and step inside the beautiful Hobbiton world. Kia Ora NZ, I can’t wait to meet you!”

Announced to join Friend in the role of ‘Johnny’ is Tom Milner and as ‘Whatshername’ Sam Lavery. Milner is most known to audiences for his role in the BBC Drama ‘Waterloo Road’ as well as roles in ‘Holby City’ and ‘Doctors’. Sam is an X Factor alumni and up-and-coming recording artist in her own right with her tracks ‘Walk Away’ and ‘For the Night’ playing across UK Radio. The trio will be part of a 15 strong cast plus a four piece live band.

Featuring the legendary music of Green Day with the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, American Idiot is the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world. American Idiot is the winner of two Tony Awards and the 2010 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album.

Green Day’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, described the creation of the album that the show is based on as one of the most emotive creative processes he has been part of. "I’ve never put so much emotion into any record like I have on American Idiot," Says Armstrong. "There are times where I feel like I get choked up, like its hard to sing the next line because it’s from some emotional place that I’ve experienced in my life that resurfaces every time I play those songs."

The musical contains the band’s hit songs including ‘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 featured are several songs from Green Day’s 2009 release ‘21st Century Breakdown’, and an unreleased love song, ‘When It’s Time’.

American Idiot will open on Thursday 10th October for a strictly limited season. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster. American Idiot contains strong language and drug references; not suitable for under 14’s.

The Times, The Independent, Daily Telegraph

“Go for the time of your life!” Evening Standard

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