Stomp ’13 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide

Stomp ’13 is a boomer of a show. The energy, the rhythm, the sound and the choreography combine to delight each and every audience member.

Stomp '13
Stomp ’13

The roots of Stomp ’13 can be traced back to 1983 when a show called Bins premiered at the Edinburgh Festival – the brainchild of Stomp ’13 co-directors Luke Creswell and Steve McNicholas. Two guys who enjoy a long history in Adelaide as well – winning the ‘Best of the Fringe’ award for the original Stomp in 1992.

The Stomp ’13 set is huge: two stories high and stretching the breadth of the stage with all manner of junkyard detritus hanging on it. Multiple entry and exit points as well as enclaves for some seriously big and loud bass drums are featured too.

Sound takes a prominent role in this show and ranges from the subtle clicking of fingers and gentle body tapping to the overt stomping of feet and various objects on the stage.

The magic of Stomp ’13 is that it takes common and ordinary things and transmogrifies those things into something sublime. From one man sweeping the floor (principal performer Cameron Newlin who looks for all the world like ‘Norm’ of the old Life. Be In It TV ads) to an exploration of movement and sound with the assistance of bins and bin lids, Zippo lighters, newspapers, PVC piping, match boxes, giant inner-tubes, wooden poles, buckets, sticks and yes even kitchen sinks! It is genuine Art.

The choreography explores everything from sand dancing, tribal dancing, Ninja fighting and a variety of work-place scenes. The action simply doesn’t stop and there’s no interval but best of all you will be entertained for every minute of its 100 minute running time as the 8 performers use every square inch of the stage and it’s backdrop to entertain you. Their feats of athleticism and timing amalgamate all the grace and style of ballet with strong elements of vaudeville.

Quite surprisingly, this show really marks a return of the silent movie era. Both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton could easily enjoy and (as their young, physically fit selves) participate in the centralised and interwoven comic routines best exemplified by performer Paul Bend.

You won’t know just how enjoyable it can be to clap your hands, click your fingers and stomp your feet unless you experience Stomp ‘13’s 10 minute long encore.

Playing in Adelaide for only 8 performances the opportunity to fully appreciate this tour de force of talent really is limited.

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