February 27, 2014 NSR Admin

STOMP! – Sunderland Empire Review

If the theatre starts trembling and people around you suddenly appear to have developed performance abilities by banging their feet and clapping their hands in unison, case there’s one thing for certain: you are watching STOMP!

Hosted in Sunderland Empire Theatre from the 18th – 22nd of February, unhealthy the performance was a great success, showing why this revered show has flourished worldwide. For those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to attend one of the performances, the “Stomps” are a group of actors who share one simple thing: a striking sense of rhythm – combining childlike fantasy with the energy of a million soldiers to deliver the ultimate show!

By experimenting with new and revolutionary techniques and instruments, the Stomps have been refining their performance over the last 20 years since they premiered in Brighton in 1991. The final product is an irresistible combination of sounds and rhythms generated by the use of discarded, daily items: brooms, tubes, lighters, bin lids, helmets, hands, newspapers, oil cans or anything else they can get their hands on!

The whole show demands and grabs your attention thanks to the perfect fusion and alternation of moments of relaxed melodies with ones of explosive beats. This enchantment culminates in the very last 8 minutes, where the real magic plays: the Stomps actively engage the audience in their performance, and the theatre turns into a perfectly coordinated hands choir.

Coordination, rhythm, engagement and spontaneity are their keywords; nevertheless, speaking about “words” may seem redundant when we consider that in 100 minutes of show the actors speak no more than 4 or 5 times!

And while you may think that a non-spoken play may feel long or boring, I can confirm that STOMP! is the most engaging, overwhelming and captivating show of the last two decades!

Review by: Federica Bevilacqua

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