Review of Stomp at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre.
The rhythm of New York City took over the stage at the Sheffield Lyceum in a captivating performance of Stomp, which hit Sheffield on its international tour this year following its 5000th show on the West End stage. If you thought that brooms, dustbin lids and matchboxes were incapable of becoming musical instruments, think again! A highly energetic cast of eight transported the audience into the world’s busiest city in the most rhythmic way imaginable; I couldn’t resist tapping my toes to the infectious beat. The combination of percussion, dance and comedy was brilliant.
Although Stomp has no dialogue, this works in its favour, making it accessible for people of all ages, including children, as the cast tell a story by taking generic items and using them to craft an exciting and unpredictable show. It is understandable how this phenomenally inventive performance has reached its 23rd year on the stage. The use of understated workers clothing contrasted against the busy, precarious looking set created intrigue. It was uncertain who was going to appear from where. With each new sound that was introduced, the audience would peer around the stage to determine who had just started ‘playing’ a bin, metal pipe or a paper bag.
Stomp was created and directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, formerly a member of the Bradford Theatre Group (1973). The two worked together in 1981 and choreographed a piece for the ‘bins’ commercial for Heineken lager. Although the number was originally written and choreographed to be part of Cresswell and McNicholas’ band’s stage show, it resulted in being the starting point for the final number in Stomp – the dustbin dance. By 1991, the pair had created the whole show of Stomp, lasting 1 hour 40 and now, in 2014, the masterpiece has held its own across the world and become a highly acclaimed and incredibly unique performance.