Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & playwright (21 plays). Pub. Currency Press. Teacher Scriptwriting 2019, Melb Polytechnic; Worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation, Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Former Coordinator of Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer doesn't always work on blog.
Tuesday, 10 September 2019
The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction, Sept 7 2019 ***
CABARET By Finucane and Smith At fortyfivedownstairs,
until Sept 29, 2019 Reviewer: Kate
Herbert Stars:*** Review also published in print in Herald Sun on Tues Sept 10, 2019 (TBC). KH
Moira Finucane pic Jodie Hutchinson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!