Aug
2
2021

The multi-awarded gothic glamazon, environmental scientist and burlesque genre-smasher Moira Finucane is emerging from the ashes of a pandemic year gone by and rising into the flames of a winter season of theatrical and performance wildness.

From the tail end of July and throughout the month of August, Finucane & Smith and their band of exquisites return to the stage with five synesthetically exhilarating shows that will capture the hearts of those who have missed them so dearly.

“Four lockdowns, a bin fire of a year, and the unique joy of cancelling a year and a half’s work in one day over a cup of whisky. What could we do but Phoenix-pivot?! But the day I recycled gold shoes off the footpath I knew it was a sign; we’d rise from the ashes, taller, brighter and undimmed. And we are striding back; in fact we cannot be stopped. Live, digital, virtual, visceral – tune in, turn up, I’ve missed you all like the fires miss the air, like the whales miss the water and like the penguins miss their krill,” Finucane said.

Rapture: Bathtub Edition 22 & 29 July and 5 August

Fresh from being beamed live to the Copenhagen International Stage Festival and streamed live from the depths of her bathtub comes Rapture: Bathtub Edition. For three showings only on 22 & 29 July and 5 August, this lockdown-created work is an intimate, epic, surreal fever dream of Art vs Extinction. With genius composer Rachel Lewindon on piano and Theremin, audiences will submerge in a stunning scape of penguins, demons, angels, hope, extinction, propaganda and ice.

Commissioned by Mesto Žensk (Slovenia), Climakaze Miami and Take Over! (Arts Centre Melbourne/Melbourne Fringe), written in Paris museums and on Antarctic icebergs, with seasons from China to Prague, and winner of the Climakaze Award for Outstanding Work on Climate Justice, this visceral performance is the next r/evolution in Finucane’s globally acclaimed Art vs Extinction suite.

As part of the Art vs Extinction suite, from 22 August – 5 September Finucane is also co-curating Denmark’s first Women in Climate art residency at BIRCA Bækkelund International Residency Center for Artists with 12 artists from around the world (Greenland, Australia, USA, Norway, Mexico, Sweden, Korea, Vietnam). This residency is an exploration into some of the most urgent issues of our time where art, climate, hope, despair, poetry and beauty collide.

“Be careful what you name an artwork. Rapture means emotional, physical and spiritual transportation, and so far I have done this work in a museum box in Prague, a silent movie theatre in Berlin where Nosferatu premiered, a glacier in Antarctica, a forest in Denmark, a power station in Slovenia, an antique wood carving hall in Wuzhen and a bathtub in Melbourne. You can’t make this shit up! And every single time the audience is transported with me. So much crying, laughing, dancing and singing. The Rapture is a wild, wild beast; get into the tub with her. You won’t regret it,” Finucane said.

Glory Box – 19 & 20 August

Finucane & Smith’s most globally awarded provocative variety show Glory Box will mark its first live digital season for World Pride, beaming live across the world at 5am AEST for the Copenhagen Queer Theater Festival in a dance-party takeover for three shows on 19 & 20 August at Copenhagen’s opulent antique theatre, Folketeatret.

It has already bedazzled over 600,000 people worldwide having toured to 15 countries, been performed in 13 languages and won 12 awards. This was the first Australian work to be invited to Latin America’s most celebrated arts festival Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires and to the Havana Theatre Festival, where audiences queued for nine hours to witness the show staged in one of Havana’s most famous hotels, Hotel Riviera.

“When we premiered this work on the smell of an oily rag, and everyone told us it’s “too risque”, “audiences aren’t ready for this!” They told me: “Moira this will never reach more than a Fringe and alternative audience”. But I persisted; I’m a dreamer. But even a dreamer like me never imagined Glory Box would headline the Havana International Theatre Festival, play for 10,000 people in a square in Sao Paulo, win so many awards or so many hearts over 500 seasons. And here we are, 17 years later going live and digital to World Pride in one of Denmark’s most glam old theatres,” Finucane said.

The Destroyer 24-26 August

Patrick White Playwright Award Winner Jackie Smith unleashes her new work-under-construction The Destroyer in a live and digital format happening at the Arts Projects Australia Gallery at Collingwood Yards for three nights only from 24 – 26 August, complete with live music and Destroyer Cocktails.

Created during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns, The Destroyer is about the end of the world as we know it with three mythic sisters facing the destruction head-on posing the questions: What will be rebuilt? What will be lost? What should be kept? Can daily life be reimagined, and if so, how?

Featuring esteemed writer and performer Maude Davey, Finucane, opera star Piera Dennerstein, queer Indian classical dancer Raina Peterson and Lewindon, the new work explores rage, otherness, grief, isolation, extinction, the end of times, hope and optimism that humans can still hold in the face of disaster.

“I stood on an empty street in the middle of lockdown, no cars, no people, just a few masks in the gutter, and I imagined a car-crash day in the life of the Bitch Goddess of Chaos, and I wondered, is this that day? Is it the day of the destroyer? As the planet burns, the ocean warms, the skies become clear and wildlife wander city streets, and loved ones die alone, is this that day? Is everything gone, can we come back better? This is how The Destroyer was born,” says Smith.

Grande Dance Hall & Diva Dive – 27 & 28 August

 

To wrap the wild winter, families can venture to Apollo Bay’s Winter Wild Festival headlining the Mechanics Institute on Friday 27 August for the Grande Dance Hall where the most daring variety artistes in Australia come together for a night of songs, dances, tricks, treats, disco and divas to get everyone tapping their toes and boogying in the aisles. Strictly for ages 8 months to 88 years, this family-friendly shindig will ignite the twinkling lights with torch singers, fan twirlers, bottle walkers and chair balancers all to some killer tunes.

 

Then on Saturday 28 August the Mechanics Institute will be packed to the rafters with global glamazons, high art, sequins, feathers, fans and breathtaking songbirds to unleash the Diva Dive. This event will be a heady cocktail of low-cut, gothic queens, butoh and burlesque all to a soundtrack to die for.

 

Finucane & Smith know how to mix a party and this winter they’ll be letting off some serious steam. After the year that’s been, grab your friends, dust off the silk ties and fishnets and get ready to dive down.

 

“Finucane & Smith are in love with regional Victoria. Oh yes there’s the wine, the cheese, the farms, the forests, the vanilla slices and divine town halls, but it’s the people we’re in love with. We’ve had the best shindigs from forests to windswept beaches, and they are crying out to celebrate, recover and raise the rafters. We hear the call, and we are on our way! And this is just a taste test for the 75 communities, from desert to sea, in every state and territory of Australia, that have put up their hands for the Finucane & Smith’s Travelling Dance Hall in 2023. Start your engines, wherever you are we are coming!” Finucane exclaimed.