I’m going to keep this simple: If you have never seen STOMP — or even if you have — go see it a the National Theatre while it’s there through February 9. And bring the kids, because I can practically guarantee you all will love it.
Surely, you’ve heard of the hit show before, but just in case not, it’s a unique musical production of choreographed percussion using the body and ordinary objects as instruments. Energetic beats and groovy rhythms are created with everything from brooms and rubber pipes to matchboxes and Zippo lighters to kitchen sinks and grocery carts to plastic bags and newspapers to clapping hands and, of course, stomping feet.
But it’s not just about the music these everyday items are capable of making when drummed, scratched, or rustled a certain way and blended together. The performers creating the sounds are mesmerizing to watch, they’re actions perfectly timed and movements synchronized to present a visually enthralling production as well. And even though none of them utter a word, they bring personality to their performances with loads of funny moments that produced a lot of laughter from the audience.
Garage bins, metal signs, and other “junkyard” materials make up the industrial-looking set, and most of the items are actually utilized in the show. At one point, the performers hang on bars from ropes to swing around as they pound on hubcaps and signs.
The entire production lasted about an hour and a half with no intermissions, but Owen and I remained captivated and entertained the entire time. We got to get in on it, too! Audience interaction was encouraged during some parts as performers had us mimic their clapping. And now that we’re experienced STOMPers, I’m sure the improvised music will continue at home. (Hey, where’s my broom?!)