Last Saturday I had the pleasure of a great night out at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford with my beautiful wife Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John. We went to see a show that has now been around for more than 20 years. It is a musical with no dialogue or lyrics. It is ‘Stomp‘ and it is an amazing show. We probably benefited from the fact that it was the fifth and final show in Bradford. If you have never seen it you really should go.
It is a performance that is all about percussion, but it’s not played with drums or any other traditional percussive instruments. The entire show is played on household and everyday items; dustbins, dustbin lids, brooms, newspapers, chairs, dustpans, metal signs, buckets, lighters and plenty of clapping. That is most definitely not an exhaustive list either. the scene with the lighters may not be the loudest part of the show, but the coordination is incredible, they effectively recreate a multi function string of Christmas/ fairy lights with various sequence options. When you are watching it is hard to believe that it is being done with just lighters!
If you’re thinking when reading this that it shouldn’t work then maybe you’re right. I agree that it shouldn’t work, but believe me it really does. I am also very pleased to say that it is a British creation too. It began life in Brighton in the UK in 1991 created by Steve McNicholas and Luke Creswell. They met while working with the theatre group Cliff Hanger and the street band Pookiesnackenburger back in the 80s. One of Cresswell’s early successes was an advert for Heineken beer in the mid 80s. This piece is often called the Bins Commercial. You can see it for yourself below along with some clips from earlier productions.
I wondered whether the cast are predominantly percussionists first and dancers second or whether they are a combination. Either way this show will blow you away if you get the opportunity to see it and I recommend that you stomp along to a theatre that is hosting it very soon!