BWW Review: Be Transfixed By The Heart-Racing Beats of STOMP at Artscape Opera House
STOMP opened at the Artscape Opera House this week to uproarious applause as performers took to the stage in what was nothing short of a mesmerizing production. Described as "a unique combination of percussion, dance and physical comedy", STOMP is an energetic and electrifying event that even the stiffest of theatergoers would get a thrill watching.
The program opens with the use of brooms for percussion, and the theme of these everyday objects being used in inventively melodic ways is what has made STOMP the international sensation that it is. From brooms to match boxes to trolleys to simply hands and feet, the journey that is created for audience members is like none other one has experienced. Numbers have been brought together well to flow between loud, impressive showstoppers and more subdued yet equally intricate pieces. A highlight of the latter is a group number involving Zippo lighters that brings concentration and well-rehearsed choreography to the forefront.
There's also an interactive element to STOMP that has the audience in a call and response which only further engages one in an already immersive experience. Not expecting any element of escapism with a production of this nature, I was blissfully engrossed for the total near 2-hour runtime. The comedic element of STOMP also helped with this as performers had excellent skills of physical comedy combined with cheeky audience banter - making the overall performance a delight.
It must lastly be mentioned that what I found most impressive about this production (aside from the high energy and athletic abilities of all of the performers) is the way in which they created such rhythmic pieces from what seemed like chaos. With drumsticks flailing, performers leaping, and buckets being airborne, everything somehow comes together in an exhilarating tempo despite not knowing where it comes from at times. The enjoyment that the performers had on stage radiated out to the audience with every beat - leaving the multi-aged opening night patrons on their feet twice in standing ovations.
Since its inception in the early 90s, STOMP has gone on to perform at the likes of the Academy Awards, the West End, and even the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. Having it return to South Africa is an honour, and seeing it live is unforgettable.
Photo credit: Supplied
STOMP will be performed in Artscape Opera House until 15 September at 8pm with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm and a performance on Sunday at 7pm. Tickets from R150 to R400 can be booked through Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visiting www.computicket.com or visiting your nearest Computicket outlet.