The Old Market atmosphere was vibrant as we walked in to find a stage that had a set made up entirely of cans, pots, pans, traffic signs and more that one might see on a busy city sidewalk or in a skip. Around us on blocky shelves above, the set-up was similar – indicating we were in a very different world from the one we left, as well as utilising the theatre space extremely well. This is
Stomp is an ideal show for all ages
Last time I saw Stomp was in the early 2000's in Plymouth when it was on tour. It was good to see how the show has progressed since – especially as it has returned to Brighton, where it was first formed in 1991 by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. They kept the structure and format the same, yet there were differences to pick up on. Very subtle additions to the show were spotted, such as suitcases as drums and shakers for instance - plus, a different cast seemed to give the show a new lease of life as they laughed, stomped, danced and created together.
What made Stomp work well was the fact that nothing was complicated. As each sound was created by household items (such as sinks, buckets and cigarette lighters) and things found on the street (brooms, plastic bags, rubbish bins and cans), a different vibe was created every time.
Two highlights included an atmospheric and fun usage of tin cigarette lighters and a loud and vibrant bashing of tall plastic containers and dustbins as drums. The cigarette lighters not only provided the warmth and joy a flame can bring in terms of lighting, but as each tinkle of the tin lids rang, you could see what they were doing to create rhythms, their expressions changing with the flame. As for the thumping music, coupled with aspects of street dance, capoeira and African dance, the energy soared as the frenetic beat came faster and wilder.
The real magic on stage however, was the clear tight bond the cast had as everything unfolded. They were not afraid to experiment with comedy, clowning, dance and more without saying a word. It showed that not only did movement and rhythm say more than words, but the fact that they were a tight-knit unit, which was intensely fascinating and wonderful to watch. That, tied in with the colourful lighting that was efficiently transformational, heightening the dramatic atmosphere when appropriate. Stomp the perfect show to showcase everything presented to us.
An ideal show for all ages, with some subtle risqué moments for the adults to enjoy too. This was a show not to be missed.