Jukebox musicals are ten-a-penny – from Mamma Mia to We Will Rock You et bloody cetera – and, let’s be frank, a certain number are utter tripe.

This is not one of them.

Punk-rock opera American Idiot is an exhilarating tale of post 9/11 America, beautifully put together and packing a heavy punch.

Primarily using music from Green Day’s 2004 multi-million selling album that gives the show its title, additional dialogue is used sparely as we are given a year in the fractured lives of three friends in small-town America at the turn of the century.

Johnny (Matt Thorpe) goes off to the city to live his dreams. He finds love but also addiction. Stoner Will (Steve Rushton) gets his girlfriend pregnant and lives most of his life on the sofa, and Tunny (Cellen Chugg Jones) joins the army.

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Whereas some musicals based on the back catalogues of bands or artists awkwardly cobble a story from snippets of lyrics sewn together into a contrived story, American Idiot does not.

Still, not only is it crystal clear what is happening but American Idiot has narrative flair, from the Tyler Durden-esque St Jimmy to its wider reflection on society.

It is achieved partly through clever use of its graffiti-stained, concrete-effect set which is a living room, a squat, an army hospital, 7Eleven and bus stop all the while evoking broken society.

Stunningly choreographed and performed (no mean feat given that the music is played live on stage too), this is a show full of high points: from the explosive opening to an uplifting bus trip (Holiday and movable shelves) and a scarily effective scene where all three stories play out simultaneously – love, birth and disaster.

Similarly, Cellen Chugg Jones harmonising with himself alone on a hospital bed singing Before the Lobotomy, is one of many deeply affecting moments.

Clearly, your enjoyment of this show will depend on how much you like Green Day. If they are your favourite band and American Idiot is your favourite album, then this is probably a work of untouchable genius.

Rarely for a show based on one band’s music, casual fans - or even those not too familiar with the album - will still be mesmerised. And that speaks volumes.

American Idiot is at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley until Saturday (April 2). Go to atgtickets.com/Bromley

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