Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Bournemouth_Pavilion_STOMP_August_2014Review by Liz Turner

It’s a global phenomenon that has been running for 23 years. Yet somehow I’d managed to miss it. What wasted years! Stomp lives up to every accolade I’ve heard or read.

On the face of it, 100 minutes of banging on dustbins lids sounds well, interesting. But forget any idea of toddlers hitting pans with a wooden spoon, at the end of those 100 minutes, I could have stayed for another 100. Not that the performers could surely have had any energy left.

Stomp is a magical mixture of dance, percussion, theatre and comedy with unexpected – but enthusiastic – audience participation. Eight performers use an amazing array of everyday objects to create a range of rhythmic sounds. I’ve never seen or heard anything like it. I was expecting the dustbins lids, and the bins themselves but not the range of ‘musical instruments’ right down to the kitchen sink!

The only instrument not used is the human voice but words are not needed when there is such wonderful mime and facial expressions. Match boxes, brushes, hosepipes, paper bags, plastic bags, cigarette lighters, cans, newspapers, even shopping trolleys – all are used to create a symphony of sounds which are infectious and bring gasps of appreciation from the audience. The rhythms are hammered out with precision timing and the dance and musical choreography is exciting and mesmerising.

It is hypnotic, funny and thrilling all at the same time. It’s at the Pavilion until Saturday 9 August. I’m off to see what type of rhythm I can create with my pen and notebook…..

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