Sedos recently took on the renowned Green Day musical, American Idiot, which proved to be a hit. The immense tracks combined to make a high-octane and exciting piece- you can read my full review here:
Adam Coppard was one of the creative producers on the show, and has spoken a little about what taking on this role meant for him.
How would you describe American Idiot?
American Idiot is a rock musical based on the concept album of that name by Green Day. Alternatively described as rock opera by some, it is almost entirely sung through (except for some letters). The lyrics to the songs from that album (and its follow up) tell the story using the music and lyrics well known to Green Day fans.
What drew you to working on the show, and did it live up to your expectations?
The challenge of American Idiot drew us to this show. Not only was it demanding of our cast, but the songs are so well known by the fans there was a lot to live up to! We assembled a great team (led by the core of Director, Matt Bentley, Choreographer, Jen Bullock, and Musical Director, Oscar Denihan) and along with an absolutely phenomenal cast they exceeded our expectations at every step of the process. When starting out on the project Olly [Levett] (who alongside me served as a Creative Producer on the show) and I had a vision for what this could become, and not only did we manage to bring that to life we managed to find new things that just blew us away.
Please may you describe the process of producing, and discuss how you got into this role?
Producing (certainly for us at Sedos) involves a fair few things (that in professional theatre might normally be split up over a couple of roles, or have a different definition to what we ended up doing!). Broadly speaking, we're responsible for working to bring the show from idea to life alongside all of the leads (not only core creatives, but also things like Costumes, Prop, Stage Management, Technical Departments, Marketing and everything else it takes to get a show on). We were involved right from pitching our vision to the society, creating our casting call out, working to make sure the show was coming along through the rehearsal process, and making sure everyone was sticking to budget! We'd previously worked in purely Technical Roles at university and since joining Sedos, but this show was something that led to us making the jump to producing for Sedos as we're huge fans and wanted to get deeply involved. In the interim, we actually ended up producing three shows for Sedos (All Together Now!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and When The Rain Stops Falling). Sometimes it feels like a day job - but like everyone involved with Sedos we do this in our spare time as "amateurs".
How did working on this American Idiot expand and develop your knowledge?
Working on this show certainly taught us a lot about the creative process and working with the team on bringing ideas to life - I'm used to doing this in a technical capacity, but less so the other side.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self about wanting to break into the theatre industry as a creative?
Get involved! There are lots of welcoming groups at all levels that I've found through school, university and alongside my actual day job (as a software developer!). There's always something to learn, and being inquisitive, always people willing to pass knowledge on.
And lastly, which artist, who hasn’t already got a show featuring their music, would you like to see made into a musical?
I'd really like someone to take some of Florence + the Machine's music and place it into a show. Some of their songs (and particularly staging) are so theatrical anyway, and contain a great depth (and number of technical challenges!).
Big thanks to Adam for sharing a bit about what it's like being a producer and working on this iconic show with Sedos. All the best for the future, and look forward to seeing whatever you're working on next!