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Review: Stomp

Music

One man’s trashcan is another’s musical instrument in the stunning fusion of dance, theatre, comedy and music that is Stomp.

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Returning to Australia after five years, the internationally acclaimed production sees eight talented performers using everyday objects to create musical scores set to high-energy dance routines.

After a rather long opening score, the first of the performers takes to the stage, looking like a stereotypical Aussie tradie in his dusty shorts, tanktop and work boots. Wielding a wooden outdoor broom, he silently swept the floor, each stroke echoing throughout the venue.

One by one the other performers join him on stage, each carrying a broom of their own, and soon the seemingly random sweeping noises begin to form a toe-tapping rhythm accompanied by an inventive dance routine.

From there, they use everything from cigarette lighters to rubber tubes, matchboxes, trashcans and even old kitchen sinks to create incredible music. The pieces are all accompanied by expertly choreographed routines that make full use of the stage and demonstrate the performers’ incredible stamina.

With rusted tin walls and littered with hubcaps and dented road signs, the set initially seems like a kind of industrial warehouse, but as the show goes on it becomes a magical playground where even the most mundane object is capable of musical beauty.

With no narration, Stomp relies on the performers’ facial expressions and body language to convey its story and the cast members do a fantastic job of channelling their characters – from the domineering alpha males, to the downtrodden underdog and, of course, the “clowns” of the group with their hilarious expressions and often clumsy antics.

Much of the comic relief is provided by one particularly lovable performer – trust me, you’ll know him when you see him – and there are several “adult” references that garner a laugh. Stomp also features routines where the audience is encouraged to clap or stomp along with the performers.

Imaginative, fast-paced and incredibly loud, Stomp is a fun family show which proves that music can be found in the most unexpected places.

Stomp plays at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre until June 10.

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