Amelia Lily’s no American Idiot at The Kings

Amelia Lily and Lucas Rush in American Idiot. Picture by Darren Bell
Amelia Lily and Lucas Rush in American Idiot. Picture by Darren Bell
Richard Digance

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Since bursting into the public consciousness as a 16-year-old on The X Factor, Amelia Lily hasn’t been one to let the grass grow beneath her feet.

After finishing third on the 2011 series of the hit ITV show, there have been the chart singles and major tours.

But early last year, her career took a new turn when she took over the role of The Narrator in the touring version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

And since last May she’s been playing the role of Whatserface, the female lead in the stage musical version of Green Day’s multi-platinum album American Idiot.

The musical follows the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9-11 world. Its hit songs include Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns and Wake Me Up When September Ends.

‘I did it in London for five months,’ says Amelia, ‘and when I got asked if I wanted to do the tour, I was like: “Absolutely!”

It’s so challenging to run that emotional rollercoaster every night and I do really love it

Amelia Lily

‘I wasn’t quite finished with it yet – I felt like I wanted to do it for longer and I loved being part of the show.’

Amelia got the call asking her to try out for Idiot when she was still in Joseph.

Recalling the audition, she says: ‘I was working with Racky Plews, the director and choreographer and she got me to do some bizarre things, it was such a challenge to me.

‘Obviously I’m a singer, and I had to be able to remove myself from my comfort zone and make me act in these certain ways, I was having so much fun in the auditions.’

And the acting side was largely new for her.

‘It’s totally different to what I’d done before, The Narrator in Joseph tells the story, so she’s there for most of the show, but there’s no real acting.

‘I was super-excited because this was something completely new for me.’

She’s also enjoyed getting to grips with Whatsername.

‘She is such a powerful character and to be able to get into her shoes every night is challenging.

‘She has got this really positive feminine side to her, but she’s also got this kind of innocence and this softer side that we only see for a few moments in the show.

‘It’s so challenging to run that emotional rollercoaster every night and I do really love it, and I feel I’ve become more confident in it as time’s gone on.’

Amelia’s committed to the UK tour until July, but beyond that, who knows?

‘I don’t kind of plan ahead, I think my whole life has been lived very spontaneously, that’s the best way I work as a person, and how I feel comfortable working. I’m really happy at the minute.

‘Coming into theatre was always a dream of mine even before the X Factor so to be able to do both when I’m still at such a young age, I do feel very lucky. 
I don’t know, we’ll see, I’ll never turn my back on my music, but if there’s a role out there that I’ve always wanted to do and the chance comes up, then I’d love to do it.’

The Kings Theatre, Southsea

April 26-30

kingsportsmouth.co.uk