Theatre review

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 February, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 February, 1993, 12:00am

Stomp, Yes/No People, Lyric Theatre, Academy for Performing Arts, February 1 ONE man wanders out on to the stage, diffidently pushing a broom. He pauses and clears his throat. He taps his broom and sweeps the floor. Soon, in steady succession, he is joined by seven others, tapping and sweeping, and a series of intense rhythms are established. Stomp is under way.

Above the stage hangs a collage of industrial waste. At the back is a row of dustbins and oil drums. The show makes use of all of them, two performers hanging and swaying like pendulums, as they beat on hunks of discarded metal, including, naturally enough, the kitchen sink.

Their instruments consist of the most mundane objects: old plastic bags, boxes of matches, zippo lighters, a soup ladle, the performers' hands.

The performers themselves mask their expertise behind the ordinary: torn jeans, cheap T-shirts, boots. This is street theatre with a significant difference. There is nothing esoteric here except the technique, which is stunning.

Combining the tightest rhythmic skills, mime, and tap-dance in Doc Martens, Yes/No People have produced an extremely powerful show, brilliantly lit and choreographed. At one point, two performers clash four dust-bin lids, spinning and ducking with balletic grace and the stylised violence of kung fu fighters.

Despite the slickness of the production the impression is of passionate spontaneity: the audience is smashed and grabbed.

Stomp is a production touched by genius.