Stomping ground

IMPROV: Stomp members make music with bin lids and dustbins.

THEIR performance transcends language and cultural barriers, with audiences moving along to their tempo and rhythm.

Such are the charms of Stomp, the world-famous percussion group that makes music using the human body and ordinary objects.

Hailing from Brighton in south-eastern England, Stomp will be in town to thrill audiences next month.

LOUD finds out why this physical theatre performance has charmed the world...

CREATORS' CREATIVITY

Stomp was created by English director, composer and actor Steve McNicholas, 58, and percussionist Luke Cresswell, 50.

During the early 80s, they were members of a street band.

In 1991, they produced, financed and directed the original Stomp show, which premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In a 2011 interview with English website indieLondon, Cresswell said the idea for the show came from their street performing experience.

"Both of us have this shared feeling of connecting with an audience," he said.

"Looking back at our past performances, we thought of doing a rhythm-based show."

ENDURING APPEAL

Stomp has performed around the world for 22 years.

The original cast of eight, who performed from 1991 to 1994, toured the world to sold-out crowds, and in 1994, an American cast was formed for the sole purpose of touring the US.

To date, more than 15 million people in 50 countries have watched the show.

On its enduring appeal, McNicholas told indieLondon that it boils down to rhythm and humour.

"Everyone has a sense of rhythm, so it can appeal to anyone and everyone," he said.

"And the humour is broad and physical, so it can work anywhere in the world."

WIDE REACH

Stomp has charmed audiences both on and off the stage.

Between 1995 and 2000, Stomp was featured in a number of commercials, which include ads for Coca-Cola, US retailer Target and Japanese carmaker Toyota.

In 2003, a Dolby Digital trailer featuring Stomp performances debuted in cinemas worldwide.

When Stomp's New York production hit its 5,000th performance in 2006, Cresswell and McNicholas directed a public service announcement titled Stomp Out Litter, featuring the cast cleaning up at the city's iconic locations.

OF BAGS AND BANANAS

Can you make music from a plastic bag?

Stomp sure can.

Aside from that, other items used by the performers include supermarket trolleys, cigarette lighters, bin lids and oars.

No item is too big or too small to create rhythm, and that includes a kitchen sink and bananas.

FYI

WHAT: Stomp

WHERE: MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands

WHEN: June 18-23, Tuesday to Friday 7.30pm, Saturday 2pm and 7.30pm, Sunday 1pm and 5pm

TICKETS: $150, $130, $105, $85, $65 from Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or 6348-5555)

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