Stomp '09

Civic Theatre, cnr of Queen Street & Wellesley Street West, Auckland

19/05/2009 - 24/05/2009

St James Theatre 2, Wellington

26/05/2009 - 30/05/2009

James Hay Theatre, Christchurch

02/06/2009 - 07/06/2009

Production Details

The British theatrical sensation, STOMP is back – fresher, faster and funnier than ever, with brand new routines!

Already enjoyed by over 14 million people in 42 countries, this world-wide hit which began in Brighton in 1991, quickly became one of the UK’s most amazing success stories.

STOMP finds beauty and music in the mundane – from boots and bins to zippo lighters and plumbers plungers – everything including the kitchen sink becomes part of this amazing production.  A unique multi-award winning combination of theatre, dance and comedy, STOMP consistently wows audiences and critics alike with its infectious rhythms and ‘pure stage magic’.

With unstoppable energy and toe-tapping exuberance, STOMP takes the clutter and junk of everyday life and transforms it into a pulsating, witty, utterly irresistible theatrical event. 

Don’t miss STOMP ’09 – 8 performances only in each city!
"Brilliant and very funny: theatre at its most seductive" New York Times

"STOMP brings the house down" Independant on Sunday

Read our interview with Paul Russell

Watch the STOMP TVC

Duration: 1 Hour and 40 minutes. No interval.

Civic Theatre

Tue 19 May 09 – Sun 24 May 09, on Sun, 6:00pm

Tue 19 May 09 – Sun 24 May 09, on Sat, 1:00pm

Tue 19 May 09 – Sun 24 May 09, on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 8:00pm


Family price available for all STOMP performances, please call THE EDGE® to book 09 357 3355.
$49.00 – $89.00*
Family Price (2 Adults/2 Children or 1 Adult/3 Children)
$199.00* *Available B Res only.
*Service fees will apply

St James Theatre
Tue 26 May 09 – Sat 30 May 09, on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 8:00pm

Tue 26 May 09 – Sat 30 May 09, on Sat, 1:00pm

James Hay Theatre
Tue 02 Jun 09 – Sun 07 Jun 09, on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, 8:00pm
Tue 02 Jun 09 – Sun 07 Jun 09, on Sat, 1:00pm
Tue 02 Jun 09 – Sun 07 Jun 09, on Sun, 6:00pm

Skilled in rhythm, tone, character and comedy – with gusto

Review by Lyne Pringle 28th May 2009

I have heard a lot about the Stomp global phenomenon since its inception in 1991 so I appreciated the opportunity to finally see it.

Initially sceptical that it might not ‘be my thing’ – I usually finding endless percussion somewhat boring – I am totally swept away by the end of the evening. This is due to the incredible skill and gusto of the performers, the complexity of rhythm and tone in the musical percussion – one sequence in 5/4 really holds the ears – and comedy: the most compelling element.

Generally the business of playing various objects – brooms, matchboxes, tins, hose pipes, rubbish bins, pots pans, car wheel rims, gravel, the kitchen sink – and the human body itself, is delivered with a staunch ‘stompy’ attitude, kind of ‘in yr face’ and grungy. The art of percussion is a serious business tempered by brilliant comic moments that really communicate with and tickle the audience.

Throughout the evening we are asked to clap at a signal from one of the featured performers who does a brilliant sequence reminiscent of a Samoan slap dance.

The juxtaposition of the grimy world of the set against the baroque opulence of the St James is fantastic. I imagine the old girl groaning at the sight of enormous speakers piled in front of her gilt proscenium.

From what I can gather, this excellently structured and directed show has not changed too much over the years although a recent revision has seen the inclusion of more comedy. This must make it more fun for the performers as well; peels of delighted children’s laughter drifting through the air is certainly an intoxicating sound.

Tattoos on very nicely shaped biceps attract my eyes like magnets as I watch flesh begin to glisten from the exertion of the choreography. This is physical stuff requiring absolute presence and commitment on stage.

A sequence tossing and playing various paint cans is exhilarating in its complex virtuosity and group work: such a pleasure to see a tight ensemble working on stage.

Characters emerge as the ‘unco guy’ plays the audience for laughs while ‘dopey guy’ tries to upstage him, all with signals and sounds but no words. It is amazing how an understood narrative can emerge with a few simple gestures.

After my favourite scene the daily newspaper will never seem the same again as ‘goofy guy’ disturbs ‘unco guys’ efforts to do the crossword puzzle with kooky antics involving a camp hairdresser, a receptionist and a dodgy superman in newspaper cape: deliciously surprising, strange and off the wall humour.

An edgy moment sees ‘the boys’ emptying the kitchen sinks they have just been playing into buckets leaving ‘goofy guy’ with his perhaps enlarged prostate (implied) dribbling on after the others: toilet, tongue in cheek, testosterone humour that pushes some boundaries.

Crescendos in the evening are provided by an exhilarating sequence where 4 performers are suspended like crazed window cleaners against the upper level of the percussion tower. The second high-energy point comes towards the end, after a great sequence using giant tubes, when the dustbins come out and a clashing Westside Story flavour pervades the stage.

Kiwi boy and ex Wellingtonian Ian Vincent launches gladiatorial with dustbin lids on hands, relishing the home stage moment in a stunning display of physicality as other performers, using 40 gallon drums like stilts, whack the sides with metal rods to whip the energy up to a frenzy leaving us gasping and begging for more.

Finally in the encore the, by now, totally eager and well-rehearsed audience becomes a giant percussion orchestra as we clap and STOMP (the St James auditorium floor has an excellent boomy sound) into a blissful and uplifted state – unwilling to let the performers leave; we could go on all night. Fantastic!  
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Stomp - the rhythm of life

Review by Tom Cardy 28th May 2009

When I naively took my four-year-old daughter to British act Stomp in Wellington three years ago, she was mesmerised during the first half, but slept through the second half, despite the clatter of makeshift instruments, feet and hands on stage. It wasn’t boredom, but at about 100 minutes, it demanded a lot of preschoolers.

This time, at seven, she was wide awake from start to finish and was laughing almost as often as she was clapping and stamping her feet, along with almost every member of an enthralled audience. [More]


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A concoction of precision and focus

Review by Natalie Dowd 24th May 2009

I am set to be wowed. I’ve heard a lot about STOMP. Everyone raves about it.

First created and directed in 1991 by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP evolved into a multimedia sensation that has been performed by various casts to sell-out audiences worldwide.

The (very expensive) programme is full of its successes and accolades about this production that passed its 5000th performance in 2006, and had a 28 million dollar theatre created specifically for the production in Las Vegas a year later. In addition to the show being filmed in 2008 with high definition sound and video in 2008, Cresswell and McNicholas are currently producing a series of 3D digital movies for 2009 and beyond.  

The set for STOMP is magical: a tall symmetrical scaffold covered in an array of junk and everyday objects, including Stop and Go signs, a car door, huge vertical corrugated pipes, brooms and drums, creating an industrial work site full of ‘treasures.’ I overhear a young person exclaim "It feels like entering another world: it seems so real." Isn’t that what the theatre is all about? Under the stars in the Civic theatre I couldn’t describe it any better.

The action begins slowly, as one character pushes in a broom, drawing us in immediately with his expression and looking out at us, the broom tapping sotto voce. As each cast member joins him on stage in a series of grunts and "e-op!" greetings and "kia ora", we are introduced to the working world where rhythm is king. Mexican waves of sound and motion with clouds of dust rise as intensity builds to the backbeat of swishing brooms.

The talented cast of eight take us through a series of pieces, each with its own clever transition of either sound or drama. The entrances and exits are superb and often very funny. STOMP is a concoction of precision and focus. It’s all torn cargoes and singlets; muscles and boots; rips and rhythms steeped in creativity and overlaid with humour.

With unison and syncopated clapping, clicking, tapping, and beating, the cast are their own percussive orchestra. They groove with tic tac boxes and make music with an artillery of household and ordinary objects, including the kitchen sink!

There is a distinct sense of ritual and tribal dance at times, particularly during the dance where wooden poles are banged on stage, and as the gravel is swept and rubbish bins drummed there is a Sasa-like Pasifika affect.

STOMP is fun and full of surprises and as each delight is sprung I note that the sound mixing for this show is nothing less than brilliant. Our ears are opened and treated to a whole new and unique auditory experience. The high decibel volume is never an assault and alternates with gentle subtlety.

My favourite is the unusual hollow sound in the rubber pipe sequence that makes a gorgeous melody a little like the plucking of strange electronic stringed instruments. The glockenspiel is also referenced: The pretty metallic sound introduces and concludes a dazzling segment that has performers in harnesses abseiling high off the scaffold, swinging and drumming and hitting everything in sight in a wash of wild sound and colourful lighting. It is truly impressive.      

Aside from the thrilling blend of physicality accompanying the complex and intricate rhythms that are the dominating force of STOMP, there is a wonderful warmth and connection of cast to audience. Half way through I find myself giving nicknames to those performers whose personalities are exaggerated and brought to life, providing stand out moments: ‘Tatt guy’ in his initial slick solo; ‘Crazy corn row guy’ with his ‘funnyisms’, and the ‘Fool’ who always comes up trumps as characters vie for position and a laugh. 

The often slapstick humour amplifies the fact that much of communication is non verbal. It is layered for both adults and children and makes excellent use throughout of human habits that can we can laugh at in ourselves and others.

Brilliant timing and expressive faces make the interplay between the characters natural and fresh. An outstanding segment is the ‘Fool’ sitting trying to do the crossword. As each character joins him to settle with the newspaper, snorting, throat clearing and coughs are an unlikely beginning. They give way to antics that become more zany and hilarious with every shake, twist and fold as ‘Corn-row guy’ transforms the daily read into a series of everyday objects and ultimately a super hero cape. This piece flows into more excitement as the performers bounce and drum on huge inflatable tyres, after which the pace slows; maybe a little too much before picking up and building to the finale.

It is no mean feat to keep that focus and concentration for an hour and 40 minutes and the odd minor slip is blurred amongst the excitement and artistry. I would like to have seen even more use of the magnificent set during the show, so it is good to see it again utilised in the closing piece. Two of the cast sit astride huge vertical corrugated pipes and the show culminates with an amazing spectacle of a gladiator-like battle with trash can lids. High kicks, breaking, leaps, spins abound before the final surprise …

The show ends as it began with a sole performer on stage. He leaves only to return to lead the enthusiastic audience in the encore during which we clap, tap click and stomp right along with the cast.

In a world of technical gadgetry where everything is laid on, STOMP, in spectacular fashion exemplifies an older value; that of finding the extraordinary and fun in the mundane. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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