Stomp originated on the streets of Brighton, England. The creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicolas were a group of street performers known as ?buskers?, trying to catch people?s attention. Attention is what they got.
Busking is an old custom in the UK, dating back to booth theaters erected at village fairs in the Middle Ages. Luke and Steve updated this custom and created a modern symbiotic marriage between movement and music.
I sat about fifteen rows back from the stage, somewhat centered. As the curtain opened, the audience quickly quieted down. The stage was very dark and I was not able to see anything. All of a sudden two red spotlights appeared on the right and left sides of the stage, illuminating two performers with what appeared to be two five gallon paint cans fixed around their necks. They began drumming on them in unison. They drummed their way to the center of the stage, where a bright spotlight lit up two more performers that were seated behind two trashcans. The two groups played different beats, which blended together in perfect harmony. This went on for about five minutes with a few funny little dance steps by the ?paint can drummers?, until they were joined by a few other performers.
By this time you could see a fence-like structure with objects attached to it located behind the performers on stage. It seemed as though it was a prop of some sort, put to add a little effect; that was until a couple of crazies ran out from the sides of the stage and began climbing the structure. At this point the structure was lit up enough to see that there were rows of pots. Pans, trashcan lids, and other objects running up and down this fence-like structure. The performers climbed up enough to reach the middle of the structure and pulled out drumsticks and began banging loudly on the objects attached. This along with the performers on stage was enough for me to wish to myself that I had packed a pair of earplugs and a bottle of aspirin for the show. The performance had gone on for about forty-five minutes so far and my headache was growing. During these forty-five minutes many objects were used as percussion instruments, way too many to list and describe all of them. I?m sure you get the picture.
I guess it was time for the grand finale because the stage was soon filled with about fifteen lunatics hopping around with ?drums? attached to themselves, big fifty-five gallon oil cans in front of them. People were climbing all over the strange structure beating on pots and pans, causing more racket than I?ve ever heard in my entire life. You could probably get a headache just thinking about it. Maybe it was my headache making me cranky, but by the end of the performance I had definitely had enough. The first thirty minutes were very enjoyable, but anything after that was a bit too much for me.
I did find the show interesting in an abstract way. The performers were rhythmically gifted and quite coordinated on stage. Personally it wasn?t quite my style, although I did recognize their talents and abilities. This performance, too me, should be taken in a small dose, definitely not for an hour and fifteen minutes. With all this said, I?m sure you can decide if Stomp is a performance for you, because it wasn?t for me!