stomp 18

Stomp 18 – never has a show been better named!

When: Until May 6, various times

Where: Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition St MELBOURNE

Cost: $89-109.90, buy now

Many thanks to contributor Thuy On for attending on behalf of Meetoo and preparing this fabulous review.

Stomp 18 could have as easily been called Bang, Crash, Smash or Clash because you’ll see (or rather hear) all of these in the latest iteration of this truly for-all-ages performance.

For those unaware of the phenomenon that is Stomp, the overall premise is simple enough: against an utilitarian, industrial wasteland backdrop, a group of stompers use everyday objects and make a lot of noise. They have been doing this for 25 years, all over the globe, with variations.

In the latest version, one guy in stained workman gear appears with a broom brushing on stage and is soon joined by five other men and two women, all wielding brooms as well, in highly choreographed, rhythmic formations. During the course of nearly 2 hours, the eight will clang their way through a wide range of common household items, including, but not limited to: rubbish bins, steel drums, matchboxes, shopping trolleys, newspapers, piping and even their own bodies: slapping and thumping away to make music.

Just when you think they surely can’t bring in the kitchen sink, they do! Complete with sloshing water.

Though earplugs are recommended for those sensitive to noise, some of the most effective parts of Stomp are not loud and bombastic.  Humour is also a large part of this wordless theatre. The way the group manipulated the tiny flames of Zippo lighters in the dark for instance was impressive, and provided much needed aural relief.

These performers sure know how to work the crowd too; there is audience participation in terms of asking everyone to clap and stamp along in time and in repetition.

Singularly and collectively all the Stompers are extraordinary. Athletic, graceful, resilient and most importantly, unflaggingly energetic.

You will be toe-tapping all through this show.