35mm: A Musical Exhibition: The Other Palace, London.
Reviewed 30th September 2017.
This interesting show with music from Award-winning composer Ryan Scott Oliver is inspired by Broadway photographer Matthew Murphy. Each photograph tells a story and is coupled with a variety of songs ranging from acapella pieces to rock songs. Whilst there is no continual narrative in this production directed by Adam Lenson, each photograph provides a snapshot into the lives of others.
The five performers Maisey Mawden, Gregor Duncan, George Maguire, Christina Modestou and Samuel Thomas all excell throughout. The harmonies are superb and the dynamics within the pieces are gorgeous. Because of the segue nature of this show the cast need to be able to quickly change style, tempo and dynamics and this cast were able to do this perfectly.
All of the cast had top-notch vocals. Christina Modestou really showed her range from powerful belts to subtle harmonies. Her ability to quickly change characters and convey emotion was excellent. Samuel Thomas has a deep, rich voice and blended well with harmonies and Maisey Bowden gave the soprano edge. George Maguire adds a rocky quality to the group.
‘Caralee‘ engaged the audience at the start and Gregor Duncan’s storytelling and comic timing was great. Christina Modestou again showed her comic timing and ability to belt in ‘The Ballad of Sara Berry‘. The use of the other actors to provide harmonies throughout was fantastic.
There are too many songs to mention specifically but ‘Make Me Happy’, ‘On Monday’ and ‘Hemming & Hawing‘ were also highlights. The band led by musical director Joe Bunker were excellent also.
The storytelling and emotion conveyed from all the cast throughout was exceptional. ‘Leave Luanne‘ a piece focusing on domestic violence showed this fantastically well. This was especially impressive considering the cast had only two weeks of rehearsals.
The staging, set and lighting all worked seamlessly together in such a small space to add to the show.
All in all this show offers superb vocals, intricate harmonies and interesting staging. It’s fantastic to see so much talent being showcased in a range of smaller shows and workshops in the Studio at The Other Palace in its debut year.
Photo credit: Nick Brittain