STOMP at the Festival Theatre

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Wed 7 Oct 2015

Last night I went along to the Festival Theatre to review the hit stage show STOMP. The show has been running since 1991 and has received many awards. I had seen parts of it performed on TV in the past, so had some idea what to expect. Described as a combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, the piece follows a group of eight people in a scrap yard making rhythms from the objects they find.

The show opens with the group sweeping up the stage. One by one they build up a rhythm with their brooms by sweeping, tapping, banging and throwing them. It is amazing to see and hear a group so perfectly in time with one another. No-one put a foot out of place. They went on to perform with all manner of objects such as dustbin lids, shopping trolleys, newpapers, pipes, paper bags and of course their own hands and feet. Everything including the kitchen sink became a percussion instrument!

There are no words in STOMP, just rhythms. This may be one of the reasons it has become so universally popular. Without speaking the characters were still able to communicate with the audience and put across their individual personalities. One of my favourite bits was when the audience was encouraged to repeat the performers’ clapping and stamping back to them. It was lots of fun and sounded great in the theatre.

The humour is very visual, which makes it a good show for children too. There was a wide range of ages in the audience from about 10 upwards. It is something I would like to take my kids to see when they are older (they are both under 3 at the moment!).

I had a great time seeing STOMP. I found the show fascinating and very entertaining. It is on in Edinburgh all this week until Sunday and then it continues touring. It is also currently showing in London’s West End.

Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT