Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction, Sept 7 2019 ***

By Finucane and Smith
At fortyfivedownstairs, until Sept 29, 2019 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Review also published in print in Herald Sun on Tues Sept 10, 2019 (TBC).  KH

 Moira Finucane pic Jodie Hutchinson
The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction, may seem totally bonkers, but this new production by Finucane and Smith is also intellectually challenging, visually stimulating and socially responsible.

In this tempestuous show described as ‘apocalyptic cabaret’, the ‘eye’ of the storm is Moira Finucane (more like Moira ‘Hurricane’), who rails and rants about social, political and personal ‘truths’ while parading in and out of eye-popping costumes along a raised catwalk.

Finucane visited the Antarctic and returned with a fearsome, new character, an Ice Queen who weaves ominous tales of melting ice flows and disappearing species that foreshadow further climatic degradation and woe for our planet.

She transports her ardent audience and transforms herself, shifting costumes, characters and topics for almost two hours – much of which is compelling but some of which is cryptic or confusing. The production could benefit from a neat trim.

A highlight, in addition to the Ice Queen, is Finucane’s cleverly written, rhyming, poetic saga, The Krill, that feels like a merging of The Ancient Mariner and Moby Dick, although its hilarious and shrill Krill chorus (Mama Alto, Piera Dennerstein) is unique.

There is a topless ranting punk; a character draped in plastic, ocean fishing net while bemoaning the horrors of ocean drag-nets; the weird woman wrapped in fur and feathers, hailing from a theatre near a forest in Denmark and railing about violence against women; and Finucane’s final, naked, vulnerable and panic-stricken creature, dripping with inky, black fluid.

Rachel Lewindon underscores the show on grand piano, with pop diva, Mama Alto, and classical soprano, Piera Dennerstein, providing soaring vocals, although, occasionally, Dennerstein’s tremulous vibrato and Mama Alto’s rock-pop stylings do not always blend well.

Ray Dimakarri Dixon, a Mudburra artist from Marlinja, NT, sings plaintiff and enchanting songs in his aboriginal language that is spoken by only 50 people, and his presence is the pure, still point in this show. He is truly ‘a keeper and protector of the land’.

Sometimes Finucane’s chanting, sonorous, stylised vocalising becomes repetitive, but its intention echoes the Ancient Greek Chorus that announced impending events and were often doomsayers.

But the show ends on a positive note, with Finucane, at the final bow, announcing that the entire audience will receive her ‘Roadmap to Hope’ that is printed on recycled paper in a brown bag filled with treats. It is worth a read and the krill lollipop is very cute!

by Kate Herbert

No comments:

Post a Comment