I had expected the evening to be one long racket. That's how I remember Stomp from the last time I saw it, about 10 years ago.

But either my memory is at fault or the show has changed - more likely the latter.

For entertaining packed houses at the New Theatre is a display of considerable finesse, much subtlety and - not to be forgotten - breathtaking skill.

The night begins with a demonstration of all three of these qualities as a lone figure - a hefty tattooed guy sporting a mohican - appears with a broom and commences a sweeping-up operation.

Very soon he starts to savour the rhythmic caresses of the bristles, which are picked up by the heavily miked stage.

Next comes the rat-tat-tat of the handle and head on the floor.

Soon the burly leader is joined by the other seven members of the cast, all armed with brooms of their own. There follows an astonishing virtuoso display of tap-dancing, in which the brushes serve as a supplement to heels and toes.

As the show continues we see (and hear!) brilliant demonstrations of the rhythmic capacity of the human body on its own, in the clacking of feet, the clapping of hands, the slapping of tummies.

More often, though, there are props to hand - matchboxes, cigarette lighters, waste bins, plastic water bottles.

At one point, two dancers stride on in 'shoes' fashioned from full-size oil drums. How they move is a miracle.

It starts to seem as if we're going to see everything but the kitchen sink... and then the kitchen sink appears - in triplicate.

After larking about with washing-up for a while - it's amazing the sound they get from rubber gloves on the draining board - the lads decide to dispose of the water into buckets below the plug-hole.

That they are choreographed to do this in a way suggestive of men urinating is a vulgar touch we could have done without.

Ditto the horseplay involving lengths of rubber tubing whose different lengths produce different notes (the principle, of course, on which all wind instruments are based) when thwacked on the stage.

The disparity in sizes leads to a display of one-upmanship in an area that can, alas, be imagined.

Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas dreamed up the show in 1991 as a Fringe entertainment at the Edinburgh Festival.

Since then it has conquered the world. Make high-speed tracks to the New Theatre until Saturday to find out why.