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Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB

Home > Melbourne > Burlesque | Cabaret | Quirky | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
Your future joy is in your hands
Like many performers, Moira Finucane had many, many hours during 2020-21 to contemplate what, theatrically, she would like to do once the seemingly endless COVID lockdowns were finally over. Participating in Zoom meetings naked from the waist down could only keep her interest for so long.

Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
Moira Finucane - hatched a plan for how to celebrate the prospect of a brighter future. (Image credit: Jodie Hutchinson and Tear It Up.)

And so she hatched a plan - to put on a show where she would bring together a team of talented and diverse artists to help celebrate the joy of again feeling like they, and we, had a future. In Moira's words:

After two years of cancelled lives and wondering why we all look so shite on zoom, we wanted Collins Street meets Constantinople, Coconut Grove meets cutting edge culture, sparkling chandeliers, velvet decor, part lounge - part louche, bristling with artists you just cannot look away from. A show-stopper of showgirls, song, dance and striptease all set to an addictive soundtrack spanning bollywood and hardcore through to the genius Rachel Lewindon on grand piano.

FUTURE. JOY. CLUB. is a live spectacle, it's the sizzle and the steak. We are going to greet you like long lost lovers. I'll be at the door. This is YOUR club where wild variety meets blood red hearts. Your club where Melbourne comes alive again, and aching hearts mend, laughter shakes the roof, and the future is faced with joy, together, she said.

And true to her word, there she (and the other performers we were soon to meet) was to greet the audience as we rolled in. It did feel somehow like a family reunion.

The Sofitel's La Trobe Ballroom is the perfect venue for the show; high ceilinged, plush, spacious, yet still offering an intimate experience. There is plenty of room for the catwalk leading from the stage, and table seating for all audience members, without feeling crowded. The ballroom has its own bar as well.

Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
Moira Finucane - comperes the show as well as performing some of her signature acts. (Image credit: Jodie Hutchinson.)

Moira takes on the role of compering the show, as well as treating the audience to several of her signature acts. She's immediately commanding as she enters the stage, wearing a lofty head dress that would do an Aztec queen proud. After an introduction in which she gave a spirited and insightful overview of the development of the show, she handed over to gender transcendent singer and diva, Mama Alto. A long time collaborator with Moira, it was a delight to hear Mama Alto's spine tingling, soaring tones once again.

Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
Mama Alto - spine tingling quality. (Image credit: Jodie Hutchinson.)

There followed a lineup of the quality performers you'd expect Finucane & Smith to attract, including the award-winning singer/songwriter Sophie Koh, and acclaimed classical Indian dancer, Govind Pillai.

I was particularly impressed by versatile burlesque performer and fire eater Jazida, who has to her credit the honour of having been voted in the global top 50 of burlesque's most influential artists.

Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
Burlesque superstar, Jazida. (Image credit: Jodie Hutchinson.)

But there was one performer who came close to stealing the limelight from Moira on the night, and that was Lois Olney. Lois is a jazz and blues singer and a Ngarluma woman, who was forcibly taken from her family at just eight months of age. You sometimes hear singing described as 'ethereal', and for me, Lois' singing - whether of a jazz standard or her own indigenous work - possesses that quality. It's like every bit of her soul comes out in her music. I know my partner and I were both wiping away tears at the end of her performance.

Finucane & Smith's FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
Lois Olney (supported on guitar by Dave Smith). (Image credit: Jodie Hutchinson.)

The show wraps up with a rousing chorus from all performers on stage, with the audience singing and dancing along. The joy Moira was hoping to generate through the show was there in spades.

Moira's talents have taken she and partner Jackie Smith to all corners of the world, giving them the opportunity to cherry-pick the best of global talent to work cohesively in this variety show format. I felt very fortunate to experience such a diversity of talent in one performance space.

If you are already a Moira Finucane fan, you'll love FUTURE.JOY.CLUB. If you're a burlesque fan or just someone who enjoys or is curious about slightly edgy theatre, then I'd urge you to come along as well. This is not theatre for the faint-hearted. It is bold and unpredictable. But equally, it is soulful and heartfelt. It's the all-round perfect variety show and a wonderful evening of entertainment. It's theatre as an EXPERIENCE, not just a show.

FUTURE.JOY.CLUB plays at the La Trobe Ballroom, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, 25 Collins Street, Melbourne until Sunday 7 August.

Session times are: Thursday - Friday, 7pm; Saturday 7pm and 9.30pm; and Sunday 5.30pm. The running time is approximately two hours, including a short intermission.

Tickets prices are:

$48/$38 general;

$78/$68 catwalk deluxe table,

$88 supreme joy table (best seats in the house and a complimentary drink).

Or why not consider treating yourself to a night of luxury? The Sofitel has a sleepover special for two people including supreme joy seating, complimentary cocktail for two, and five-star luxury accommodation for two at $458.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Please note FUTURE.JOY.CLUB contains nudity, coarse language and adult themes.

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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Shake off the cobwebs, it's time to party Moira Finucane style at the FUTURE.JOY.CLUB
When: Performances each Thursday to Sunday until 7th August
Where: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, 25 Collins Street, Melbourne
Cost: $38 - $88; luxury sleepover package for two people $458
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