Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP, the inventive and invigorating stage show that's dance, music and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm.
STOMP, a unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, was created in Brighton, U.K., in the summer of 1991. It was the result of a 10 year collaboration between its creators, Steve McNicholas and Luke Creswell.
They first worked together in 1981, as members of the street band Pookiesnackenburger and the theatre group, Cliff Hanger. Together, these groups presented a series of street comedy musicals at the Edinburgh Festival throughout the early ‘80s. After two albums, a UK TV series and extensive touring throughout Europe, Pookiesnackenburger also produced the highly acclaimed “Bins” commercial for Heineken lager. The piece was originally written and choreographed by Luke as part of the band’s stage show. It proved to be the starting point for STOMP’s climactic dustbin dance.
In 1986, Luke and Steve created an eight minute percussive movie for Bette Midler’s HBO special, “Mondo Beyondo.”
Between 1987 and 1990, Luke staged, as artistic and musical director, four large scale outdoor events, including “Beat the Clyde,” which involved floating a drum orchestra on a pontoon in the center of Glasgow; the largest of these events, the “Heineken Hove Lagoon Show,” involved a 120 piece drum orchestra featuring the Brighton Festival Chorus and a full orchestral string section.
In the summer of 1991, Luke and Steve produced, financed and directed the original STOMP, previewing at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre and premiering at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, where it became the Guardian’s “Critic’s Choice” and won the Daily Express’ “Best of the Fringe” award. Originally a seven-piece (with Luke, Theseus Gerard, Fraser Morrison, Carl Smith, Nick Dwyer, David Olrod and Sarah Eddy) STOMP grew to be an eight person outfit with the addition of Fiona Wilkes in the fall of ‘91.
Between 1991 and 1994, the original cast of STOMP played to capacity audiences around the world from Hong Kong to Barcelona, from Dublin to Sydney. The touring culminated in a sell-out season at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre in January 1994, where STOMP received an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment Award and won Best Choreography Award in a West End show.
An expanded version of STOMP, involving up to 30 cast members, was originally created for the Brighton Festival UK and was subsequently presented in Melbourne, Australia. It was most recently seen in September 1995 open air at the Acropolis in Athens and at the Royal Festival Hall in London. This production broke all box office records, which had been established by Frank Sinatra in 1972.
STOMP began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in February 1994 and quickly went on to win an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for Most Unique Theatre Experience. By the summer of 1994, the first American cast was in place at the Orpheum, freeing the original cast for a sell-out tour of North America and Japan.
In the summer of ’95, two more American productions were created for the sole purpose of US touring which continues to this day. US casts have also debuted STOMP in Chile, Brazil and Korea. Meanwhile, a fifth STOMP company, also touring from the UK, was formed in 1997 and has consistently toured the world ever since. This company presented STOMP for the first time in Scandinavia and South Africa and has been a regular visitor to Germany, Holland and France. Another STOMP production opened in San Francisco in May 2000 running for two and a half years.
The original cast of STOMP have recorded music for the Tank Girl movie soundtrack and appeared on the Quincy Jones album, Q’s Jook Joint. A soundtrack recorded by Steve and Luke for the Showtime Movie, “Riot,” was released in the Spring of ’97.
STOMP has also been featured in a number of commercials, including Coca-Cola’s Ice Pick, numerous spots for Target stores in the US, Toyota in Japan, and Seat in Europe.
STOMP also created the “Mr. Frears’ Ears” series of short films created for Nickelodeon. “Brooms,” a 15-minute short film based on the opening routine, was nominated for an Academy Award. This STOMP-oriented film was also selected for screening at Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival and for competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
STOMP made a special appearance on the Academy Awards in March 1996, with an acclaimed original piece involving the live synchronization of classic film clips and on-stage action, featuring 20 performers from all five productions.
In the summer of ’97, Steve and Luke created and directed “Stomp Out Loud,” a 45 minute television special for HBO, which combined stage material with new pieces created for TV. It was in the USA in December ’97 and subsequently received four Emmy Award nominations, for direction, sound mixing, multi-camera editing and art direction. ’98 saw the release of the Stomp Out Loud video and DVD around the world. Another unique blend of live action and film footage was created for the Emmy awards, in which STOMP effectively performed with Spike Jones!
STOMP performed after midnight on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at President Clinton’s Millennium celebrations. During 2000, a Sesame Street special “Let’s Make Music,” a collaboration between STOMPand The Muppets, was released on TV and video in North America.
Luke and Steve began production of their IMAX movie Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, in Brazil during Carnival 2000 and completed it in the summer of 2002. Pulse takes the IMAX audience on a spectacular global journey, featuring performances from Kodo, Timbalada and Eva Yerbabuena. It was released to critical acclaim in the fall of 2002 and won 2 major awards at La Geode's film festival in Paris the following year. In 2004 it received the ultimate Imax Award for Best Film at the GSTA in Montreal. Pulse is still playing in IMAX theatres worldwide.
In September 2002, STOMP finally entered London’s West End at the Vaudeville Theatre, and later that year STOMP performed as part of the Royal Variety Show for the second time. STOMP is now in its fifth year in London.
In 2003, a unique Dolby Digital trailer featuring STOMP performances debuted in cinemas across the globe and the following year an Emmy nominated sequence was created for ABC Sports coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships.
In 2004, in celebration of ten years of STOMP in New York, 2nd Avenue at 8th Street was renamed Stomp Avenue.
In 2006, STOMP’s New York production passed its 5000th performance mark. In the same year, Luke and Steve directed a public service announcement for television called STOMP OUT LITTER, which featured the cast “sweeping up” at iconic locations in the five boroughs. They also began filming an Imax 3D movie about South Africa’s Sardine Run, to be released in early 2008.
In addition, they were commissioned to create and produce the Lost and Found Orchestra, which takes the ideas behind Stomp to a symphonic level, in celebration of 40 years of the Brighton Festival. The LFO subsequently performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival early in 2007 and will soon be seen at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
In 2007, STOMP OUT LOUD opened in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with an expanded cast and performed inside a new $28 million theater specifically created for the production.
All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking STOMP for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on STOMP speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking STOMP for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on STOMP speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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