From a single drum, hanging around Luke Cresswell’s neck, back in 1991, Stomp has taken on a life of its own along with an array of every day objects that have made a big noise on stage.
The multi-award winning theatrical production returns to the New Theatre Oxford this October as part of a short tour, celebrating 20 years of bringing foot stamping, finger drumming, adrenalin rushing joy to audiences across the globe.
Since those early days, creators and co-directors Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas have developed a unique, universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance, which has become a theatrical sensation.
Stomp has no words – everyone can understand it. It has little or no melody in the traditional sense, so it doesn’t matter if your taste in music is jazz, classical, dance or pop.
To date audiences totalling 14 million across 50 countries have been entertained and exhilarated by this astounding show.
Since their last visit, the Stomp cast performed in the closing ceremony at the 2012 Olympics and have introduced two new pieces to the show: Frogs and Trolleys.
Trolleys taps into the everyday experience of negotiating a busy shopping aisle with a fully laden supermarket trolley but soon transforms into the closest Stomp will ever get to drum corps and it’s the first fully fledged Stomp routine to be performed entirely in 5/4 time signature: not straightforward to march to!
Frogs explores the bizarre sonic possibilities of a variety of plumbing fixtures. It has to be heard to be believed, but close your eyes and this piece sounds unlike anything ever heard in the show till now. Organic, quirky and plumbing new heights.
Still remaining is Stomp’s signature high-octane meeting of slick choreography, tight ensemble work, industrial percussion and a narrative of anarchic clowning; as the irrepressible troupe of eight turn brooms into soft shoe partners, clapping into intricate conversations and water cooler bottles into sophisticated instruments.
A row of folding chairs are straddled, slid, slammed and slapped into rhythmic submission. No percussive potential – of object, body or action – is left unexploited and all underpinned by a childish delight in making serious noise.
The whole hurtles towards a brilliantly reworked climax – a showstopper in every sense – as a crackling carnival of leaping, spinning, skidding and pounding performers vent their inexhaustible energies on an unsuspecting orchestra of metal dustbins, bin lids, tubs and water butts.
Stomp will run at New Theatre Oxford from October 13-17.
2015 tour dates
October 6–11, Festival Theatre Edinburgh
October 13-17, New Theatre Oxford
October 20-24, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Stomp continues to entertain in London’s West End where it has been a popular draw for the past 13 years.