South Tyneside actress stars in hit American Idiot musical on North East stage

American Idiot at Sunderland Empire.  Alice Stokoe
American Idiot at Sunderland Empire. Alice Stokoe

An actress who learnt her craft on South Tyneside’s stage says she’s loving every minute of being home with a hit musical.

Alice Stokoe, from Jarrow, is rocking out all this week in American Idiot at Sunderland Empire, a show based around the music of Green Day.

American Idiot at Sunderland Empire. Cast from left Amelia Lily, Newton Faulkner and Alice Stokoe

American Idiot at Sunderland Empire. Cast from left Amelia Lily, Newton Faulkner and Alice Stokoe

It’s a special run on the tour for the 24-year-old who honed her skills at the Empire’s summer school, Stage Experience, as well as at the Customs House.

She said: “It was those summer schools that gave me a real taste of musical theatre, they taught me a lot about being part of a big production on a big stage like this, so it’s great to be back here.”

Alice plays Extraordinary Girl, alongside X Factor’s Amelia Lily as Whatsername and chart-topper Newton Faulkner as Johnny. The show follows Johnny and his friends as they try to cope with life in post-9/11 America.

Although it’s the actress’s first UK tour, she’s no stranger to the national spotlight after her previous role as Sophie in Abba musical Mamma Mia!

American Idiot is a far cry from the uplifting music of Abba, however, and is based on punk rockers Green Day’s album released during the George Bush era as a reaction to the post 9/11 hysteria.

For Green Day fan Alice it takes her back to her school days.

“This is such a fun show to be in, but it deals with some hard-hitting issues,” she said. “When you look at Green Day’s lyrics written down they have so much meaning. The album this show is based on was written in the George Bush era and is about how people were feeling at the time so it’s really powerful.

“It came out when I was a teenager, when punk rock was the thing, everyone in class was listening to it.”

•American Idiot runs at the Empire until May 28. Tickets cost from £12.90. To book, go to www.atgtickets.com/sunderland or call the box office on 0844 871 3022.