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10 Feb 2013


Stomp 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 Cresswell. Stomp uses a variety of everyday percussion instruments in their shows [1]

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 “Bins” commercial for Heineken lager. The piece was originally written and choreographed by Cresswell as part of the band’s stage show.

McNicholas created an eight-minute percussive movie for Bette Midler’s HBO special, "Mondo Beyondo".

Between 1987 and 1990, Cresswell directed staged 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, Cresswell and McNicholas produced, financed and directed the original Stomp show, 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's "Best of the Fringe" award. Originally a seven-piece (with Luke Cresswell, 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. The touring culminated in a season at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London in January 1994, where Stomp received an Olivier nomination for the "Best Entertainment Award" and won "Best Choreography Award in a West End show".

An extended 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 in an open air production at the Acropolis in Athens and at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Stomp began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in February 1994 winning 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 tour of North America and Japan.

[edit] 1995-2000

In the summer of 1995, 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, The Netherlands 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 Cresswell and McNicholas for the Showtime Movie Riot was released in the Spring of 1997.

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 the Sundance Festival and for competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Stomp made an appearance at the Academy Awards in March 1996, with a piece involving the live synchronization of classic film clips and on-stage action, featuring 20 performers from all five productions.

In the summer of 1997, Cresswell and McNicholas 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 1997 and subsequently received four Emmy Award nominations, for direction, sound mixing, multi-camera editing, and art direction. The Stomp Out Loud DVD was released in 1998. Another blend of live action and film footage was created for the Emmy awards, in which Stomp performed with Spike Jones.

[edit] 2000-2009

Stomp performed at the Lincoln Memorial at President Clinton's Millennium celebrations. During 2000, a Sesame Street special "Let's Make Music", a collaboration between Stomp and the Muppets, was released on TV and video in North America.667«

Cresswell and McNicholas began production of their IMAX movie, Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, in Brazil during Carnaval 2000 and completed it in the summer of 2002. Pulse features an international cast, with performances from Kodo, Timbalada and Eva Yerbabuena. It was released in the fall of 2002 and won two 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 entered London’s West End at the Vaudeville Theatre, and later that year performed as part of the Royal Variety Show for the second time. Stomp is now in its fifth year in London.

In 2003, a Dolby Digital trailer featuring Stomp performances debuted in cinemas worldwide, and the following year an Emmy nominated sequence was created for ABC Sports coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships.

In 2006, Stomp’s New York production passed its 5000th performance mark. In the same year, Cresswell and McNicholas 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, released in early 2008.

In addition, they were commissioned to create and produce yes Pandemonium: 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 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The show was reworked and renamed for a US tour in 2010: Pandemonium: the Lost and Found Orchestra.

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.

It's normally performed in carnivals.

In August 2012, Stomp contributed to the musical segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London.

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