Performance review: 35mm, Flight Path Theatre

Little Triangle's latest production is musical theatre inspired by photography.
35mm. Image is a cast of performers, some seated on the ground, some standing behind, all pointing cameras at the photographer.

Little Triangle’s production of 35mm is about as energetic and exciting a night of music theatre as can be. Alexander Andrews directs an expanded cast of nine very talented young musical performers in this version of the show, which has contemporary/rock-based songs (think Rent) and a barely-there narrative inspired by photos from Matthew Murphy. 

Curiously the audience never gets to see the photos – only the musical moments that are drawn from them. And this choice certainly throws the spotlight onto each performer’s immediate communication, rather than being simply a soundtrack to a slideshow.

It’s hard to escape the feeling that occasionally something is missing that may assist our understanding, but Andrews chooses instead to weave a series of characters and relationships into the songs to create a more theatrical, rather than concert-based, staging. And, for the most part it works well, creating an almost Godspell-like troupe of storytellers.  

And these storytellers have a collection of very fine voices. They belt out their tales with a joyous energy throughout, completing some very intricate harmony work along the way with ease. Each has a unique vocal sound used to effect in their different song vignettes.

Mikayla Burnham relishes her powerhouse moments, Izzy Hanly gives us some gorgeous top notes, but it is Aaron Robuck who most often captures our hearts with his rich vocals and soulful eyes. The entire cast are immensely watchable, however, and the reward of such a small space is getting to see their craft displayed with such focus – pun intended.   

Aided by a skilled ensemble of six musicians under the baton of Music Director Jeremy Kindl, 35mm is musically a very solid show. There is no doubt of the talent on display – although diction does let a few performers down. On a few occasions either the opening night vocal passion or a briefly muddy sound mix blurred the stories they were trying to tell.  

Read: Theatre review: Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Slingsby’s Hall of Possibility

None of which should deter you from going to share in the energy and talent of this wonderful one-act show at Marrickville’s Flight Path Theatre. This ensemble of performers rip open their hearts for you through song, and reveal a series of intimate and touching portraits that are quite uplifting and leave you very satisfied. The 80-minute runtime allows you freedom afterwards to explore more of the layers of festive nightlife bubbling around the Marrickville town centre. Win/win. 

35mm: A Musical Exhibition
Presented by Little Triangle, Flight Path Theatre

Director and Designer: Alexander Andrews
Music Director: Jeremy Kindl
Producer: Rose McClelland
Assistant Music Director: Nikolas Zielinski
Stage Manager: Hannah Ribbons
Lighting Designer: Paris Bell
Sound Technician: Daniel Baykitch
Promotional Photos: Bryan Ruiz

Music and Lyrics: Ryan Scott Oliver
Based on photographs by Matthew Murphy

Cast: Mikayla Burnham, Nina Carcione, Jack Dawson, Keira Leiva, Izzy Hanly, Brodie Masini, Oli McGavock, Aaron Robuck, Jenna Woolley

Tickets: $40-$45

35mm will be performed until 9 December 2023.

Dennis Clements is a NIDA Acting graduate and has a BA focused on Literature, Theatre and Journalism. He won the Theatre prize in his graduation year from Curtin University in WA. He has extensive leading role performance credits in both professional and community based companies, and has directed numerous productions for Bankstown Theatre Company and Ashfield Musical society. He is a registered Marriage Celebrant if you want to get hitched, and has also reviewed for Australian Stage online theatre magazine for several years.