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STOMP, a unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, was created in Brighton, UK, in the summer of 1991. It was the result of a ten-year collaboration between its creators, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas. 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 1991, Steve and Luke first created STOMP, previewing at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre and premiering at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, where it became The Guardian’s Critics’ Choice and won The Daily Express Best of the Fringe Award.
Between 1991 and 1994, the original cast of STOMP played to capacity audiences around the world: from Hong Kong to Barcelona to Dublin and Sydney. The touring culminated in a sell-out season at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre in January 1994, where STOMP received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment and won Best Choreography in a West End Show.
STOMP began its run at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in February 1994 and quickly went on to win both an Obie 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 sell-out tours of North America and Japan.
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, Holland and France. Another STOMP production opened in San Francisco in May 2000, running for two and a half years.
STOMP made a special appearance at the Academy Awards in 1996, with an original piece involving the live synchronization of classic film clips and onstage action, featuring 20 performers from all five productions.
In the summer of 1997, 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 premiered in the USA in December 1997 and subsequently received four Emmy nominations, for direction, sound mixing, multi-camera editing and art direction. 1998 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!
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. 2003 saw a new STOMP production open at the Stuart Street Theatre in Boston and a unique Dolby Digital trailer featuring STOMP performances debuted in cinemas across the globe.
In 2004, New York celebrated 10 years of continuous performances of STOMP at the Orpheum Theatre by renaming 2nd Avenue at 8th Street STOMP Avenue.
In 2006, STOMP’s New York production passed its 5,000th 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.
In 2011 STOMP celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special celebration at the Ambassadors Theatre and the New York production of STOMP entered its nineteenth year, trouncing the Orpheum house record set by Little Shop of Horrors. It also celebrated its tenth anniversary in the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre, whilst at the same time Steve and Luke continue with their 3D film work.
In August 2012 the largest assembly of STOMP performers ever (40 performers from 12 different countries) was brought together for a specially choreographed appearance in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
2015 has seen STOMP celebrate 13 years in London’s West End and Luke and Steve were awarded a joint honorary Doctor of Arts from University of Brighton in recognition of their major contribution to music and performance.
2016 was a busy year for STOMP around the world, with up to 5 companies on the road at any given time. STOMP performed in China and India for the first time to sell out audiences and continued its success throughout Europe inlcuding Germany, Portugal, Netherlands and Italy. Both London and Broadway continue to break records as STOMP entered its 25th year!
In 2017, STOMP continues to play to audiences all over the world and to visitors to the West End. In 2017/18, territories include the UK (Southampton and Blackpool), the Netherlands, Verona and Paris, Prague, Lisbon and Germany.
STOMP was created with the original UK cast:
Luke Cresswell, Nick Dwyer, Sarah Eddy, Theseus Gerard, Fraser Morrison, David Olrod, Carl Smith and Fiona Wilkes.