Stomp

Famed for its stunning drumming and percussion, Luke Cresswall and Steve McNicholas’ Stomp – which first premiered on the 1991 Edinburgh Festival Fringe – combines remarkable dance and movement with plenty of humour, fun and universal appeal. In the intervening years, it has become a global phenomenon – featuring in 3D movies, Coke commercials and the Oscars. Now it’s back touring the UK with eight performers, all trained drummers, guiding their audiences through a magnetic, captivating 100 minutes of largely new material.

Stomp hurtles along effortlessly from one set piece to another: the cast drum with kitchen sinks, tires and pots and pans, create rhythm from flickering lighters and use audience interaction to great effect.

Stomp begins quietly, though. A single performer, in the guise of a street cleaner, sweeps the stage with a brush, subtly turning this simple gesture into a pulsing drum solo. While the pace and verve only builds from here, Stomp remains unafraid to juxtapose quieter moments with the general vigour.

Stomp hurtles along effortlessly from one set piece to another: the cast drum with kitchen sinks, tires and pots and pans, create rhythm from flickering lighters and use audience interaction to great effect. The show’s soundtrack is entirely composed of the beats and rhythms generated by the performers, with no extra music. This soundtrack is complimented by impressive lighting, ensuring a fast-paced, visually and aurally dynamic production.

The set is composed of various pots and pans, dustbins and other miscellaneous items. Colourful, unusual and striking, it is much more than just a backdrop: throughout the performance it is scaled, beaten and brought to life by the cast.

Stomp’s vitality and energy keep the audience gripped; there may be no narrative, but the performers still have defined personalities, albeit some to a greater extent than others. A lot of the humour comes from these sketched relationships between the characters: there’s the arrogant one, the one for whom everything always goes wrong. The relationships seem natural and the humour makes the performers relatable, despite their inordinate talent.

The overriding impression is that the cast are having a blast: the energy and good nature is infectious. Stomp also has a uniquely universal appeal: in the performance I saw, the 40-something dad and nine-year-old boy behind me were both laughing equally as hard and as often.

Just before the show-stopping, bin-drumming finale, the show does lag a little: 100 minutes is a long time to sit still with no interval, especially on a weekday evening. That said, the mighty final set piece more than makes up for any slower moments that preceded it. The finale is a stunning moment of theatre, immersive and forceful and leaving you wanting more. It’s easy to see why Stomp has inspired such a cult following.

Reviews by Francesca Street

Charing Cross Theatre

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★★★★
Southwark Playhouse

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★★★
Criterion Theatre

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

★★★★★
Edinburgh Playhouse

Annie

★★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

Nederland Dans Theater 2

★★★★
Festival Theatre Edinburgh

1984

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Now in entering its 23rd year, this smash hit show has entertained over 15 million people world wide and for one week only Edinburgh audiences have the chance to experience the magic of the one and only STOMP.

Using everyday household items from paint cans and pipes to bin lids and brooms, 8 energetic performers fuse dance, percussion and comedy to create a feel-good rhythmic spectacular, in this inventive and infectiously entertaining show.

Featuring new routines, new music and new choreography, STOMP is fresher, faster and funnier than ever – don't miss it!