Shoppers and commuters were stopped in their tracks on Monday as some of the cast members of Stomp went back to their roots and took to the streets of Newcastle, to give passers-by a sneak peak at what to expect from their award-winning show, which plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 15 – Sat 20 Feb 2016.
Now entering its 23rd year, this smash hit show has entertained over 15 million people across 50 countries worldwide; featured in a range of commercials, film soundtracks and TV collaborations and won multiple awards including an Obie, a Drama Desk Award and an Olivier.
But it was out on the streets that the show was first born when street theatre artists Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas came together in Brighton in the summer of 1991. From acclaimed performances at the Edinburgh Fringe to large outdoor events, the legend of Stomp grew in ambition and scope, gaining legions of fans along the way and becoming the theatrical sensation it is today.
Using everyday household items from paint cans and pipes to bin lids and brooms, the creators and co-directors have ultimately developed a unique, universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance, which has become a true phenomenon.
Since their last visit to Newcastle in 2000, the Stomp cast have 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 the show will ever get to drum corps. It is also the first fully fledged Stomp routine to be performed entirely in 5/4 time signature.
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.
Creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas are both very happy with the way the new pieces have slotted in, each with Stomp’s trademark exploration of sound, movement and physical humour and there’s more to come: they will be working on more new routines later this year.
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. It is at once primal and urbane, leaving no percussive potential – of object, body or action – unexploited. And all underpinned by a childish delight in making serious noise.
The whole show 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. Joyous, thumping, exhilarating bliss for all involved … except the bins!
WHERE & WHEN
Stomp plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 15 – Sat 20 Feb.
Tickets are priced from £13 (pay less online) and can be purchased at: www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge).
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