Stomp! Reaches the Parts Other Shows Haven't Bin

I grew up in Belfast in the sixties and seventies... so I was familiar with all sorts of drumbeats by the time I moved to Edinburgh in the mid eighties... I had even had experience of dustbins and bin lids being used as percussion instruments in the West Belfast Hunger Strike protests...
But at the first Fringe Sunday I attended I was blown away by a group of guys from Brighton known as "PookieSnackenBurger", who were a dance/druming act using dustbins. Later I had the privilege of teching for them at the Lyceum as part of the Pick of the Fringe event for Amnesty International... Soon after they were behind one of the best-remembered Heineken ads... But they themselves never became a household name...

Fast-forward fifteen years and a show which had been the BIG thing in London, was now touring the world. My wife and I tried to get tickets when we were in Paris for our 10th Anniversary, but no dice... 5 years further on we tried when on our anniversry trip to London... but again with no joy... but today 25 years after first seeing Pookiesnackenburger, we saw their slick offspring "Stomp..." in the company of our two children.
There's a big difference between a 90minute main-house show and a 5 minute fringe act, but there was no dilution of the fun in this transition, and no sign of it being stale after 20 plus years on the road. We all smiled from start to finish... From the antics of some of the most useless stage-sweepers in history (but where did they find such robust brushes? Try that with anything from your local hardward store and it wouldn't last 30 seconds) through to where they began all those years ago, with their high-octane dustbin dance... They threw everything into it, including the kitchen sink.
I now fear for what the kids will now do with our pots/pans/bins/newspapers in the coming weeks... But at least they will at least thump each other rythmically...
If you get the chance to see it, do... It is one of the most energetic, imaginative and amusing shows I have seen in a long time, and I hope it isn't a quarter of a century before I see it again.
I wonder, however, how things might have turned out, all those years ago, if wheelie bins had already replaced dustbins in Brighton?


stuartieb said…
my wife and i went to see it also last week. we missed it when we lived in England, but somehow it felt more authentic experiencing it on home soil for the first time. after the show was over the sound of random rhythms could be heard emanating from the bathrooms and almost all the fixtures and furniture in the waterfront hall. very enjoyable experience indeed.

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