35 mm is a musical exhibition combining photographic art with song. The set is sparse but functional with differing sized frames, various objects hanging from them and a projection screen in the centre. At once it feels as though in a gallery. Music accompanies the entrance of five singers who adeptly unify the space and begin the exposition. Each photograph has its own song as a back-story and stands alone as an individual piece. The songs range in style and tempo and each of the singers enchant and invite you to invest heart and mind into the worlds created. From the comical piece about ‘Carol Lee’ the devil child to the enchanting ‘Angel’, each song evokes a connection to the story behind the picture projected. It also feels like the singers are at times the spectators in a gallery with the songs being either their own story or their interpretation of what they are viewing. The inter-textuality of the piece works well and reminds the viewer that this is not just an exhibition or a musical theatre piece but a combination of art, provoking thought and a sense of inclusion into two different worlds.

The singers work well as an ensemble with great harmonies and stunning solos. The overall production was slick and well-rehearsed with strong performances all round. The two musicians must also get mention for their solid work as well. Some of the songs have a quasi eighties element to them and will certainly appeal to the Glee crowd but there is enough variety to entertain all.

Even if sceptical as regards the concept it is well worth a visit for a thoroughly entertaining and well-produced show.

Whilst I may not choose Sarah to be the prom queen, 35mm certainly gets my vote.

Reviews by Greg Smith

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The Blurb

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but what about a song? Can one picture inspire a song? How about fifteen photos? In 35MM, a series of photographs by acclaimed photographer Matthew Murphy each inspire a song – unique moments frozen in time, a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening…

The World Premiere of 35MM took place Off-Broadway in March 2012. Due to popular demand, the show was extended and sold out its run. Now ‘ground-breaking new concept in musical theatre’ (Playbill) by Jonathan Larson award winner Ryan Scott Oliver hits the UK, with a full cast & live music.

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