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Review - 35MM A Musical Exhibition: strong theatrical concepts

By Douglas Kennedy


35MM A Musical Exhibition.

 Music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver.

Based on photographs by Matthew Murphy.

 Javeenbah Theatre Company Production.

 Season ends February 17. Bookings:

Timing 90 minutes with interval.


Composer and lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35MM; a musical exhibition is a collection of 22 songs presented in a mix of artistic formats by six vocalists on a bare stage dressed in black.

This production, which opened the Javeenbah Theatre Company’s 2024 season, is a concert with and photographic support. It’s a show which is likely to polarize opinion – depending on musical tastes – although I must confess; I was enthralled with Ryan Scott Oliver’s work.

The composer and lyricist works in various genres, but his tunes are always catchy, and his words tell various unconnected stories. They are often about love, life, and relationships and the six artists under the imaginative direction of Taylor Holmes are superb vocalists. Ash Van Lits, Maegan Weir, Charlotte Carozo, Jake Goodall, Hunter Wall and Mark Rickell don’t simply sing the songs.

The ensemble acts out each story, which features scenes from everyday life sometimes reflecting happiness, sadness, and even tragic scenarios.

Although the stage is bare there’s a picture of a giant camera and film, which serves as a backdrop, and a series of images on two screens on each side of the stage.

These are credited to Matthew Murphy, who happens to be Oliver’s life partner, and are designed to illustrate the songs.

If, like me, you are unfamiliar with Oliver’s work I strongly advise you to look up the title of the show and the composer on google or Spotify.

There you will find clips of numbers featured at Javeenbah presented by artists, probably from America.

For once it is worthwhile catching a taste of the show before you see it live.

However, make no mistakes, our artists are as good as any around the world and this show is worth supporting.

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but when it comes to supporting theatre it can support a vibrant fan base.

It is worth noting that 35MM opened in 2012 and has been performed throughout America Canada, England and Scotland.


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