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The Rapture - Theatre Review

Home > Melbourne > Burlesque | Cabaret | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
Moira the Magnificent will have you in raptures
I am speechless. I have just experienced something extraordinary. If you've never seen a Moira Finucane performance, you've probably never seen anything like it.

The Rapture, Moira's latest show which premiered in Melbourne last night, is unique. It is definitive Moira. I decided during the show that Moira is burlesque sans frontiers; what Moira wants to do, Moira will do.

Want to make a political statement? Sure! Want to get naked? Goes without saying! Want to don claws and feathers and threaten to rip out audience members' hearts? - well, yes, if it's in a good cause.

The Rapture at fortyfivedownstairs
Moira - claws and feathers


The Rapture broadly touches on themes of immigration, exclusion, extinction and empowerment. Moira takes us through a wide spectrum of moods, emotions and persona in this 80 minute performance, from crazed woman of gothic blackness to the highly educated environmental scientist cum lawyer she also is, in a way that is breathtaking.

Her support acts on stage highlight her inclusiveness: the divine, sweet voiced 'gender transcendent diva' Mama Alto, angelic Clare St Clare, and 82 year old Shirley Cattunar, each of whom, at times, create their own moments that had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end.

The subterranean venue of fortyfivedownstairs, a bit dungeon like - all smoky and indistinct - sets the tone for the show.

Equally, the use of costumes enhances the mood; but the costumes somehow seem transient, incidental to the person wearing them. Moira even wears her nakedness like a costume; as she confidently struts around the stage naked, she criticises those self-indulgent actors who choose to be naked. It takes a moment to realise, hey, but she's naked too!

At the end of the show, after the big finale, Moira once again takes to the stage to implore us all to do what we can for others, to act if we see something that doesn't feel right. We are then encouraged to divest ourselves of something we don't need - an item of clothing, a thought, a worry. Some audience members take it literally and start to remove clothes - and suddenly the after party has started and we're all bopping along to the music. If you were caught up by the show, overwhelmed maybe, this was the time to let it all go again before once more walking out into the street and heading home.

Moira's style is fresh, challenging, confronting and - probably - divisive.

The Rapture at fortyfivedownstairs
Moira - magnificent


This means you will either love her show, or wonder what the hell you're doing there and wish it was over.

Moira and lifelong partner personally and professionally, Jackie Smith, have taken their shows to countries as diverse as Japan, Slovenia, Scotland and Croatia, and have been nominated for 16 theatre awards (and won 10), including the Patrick White Playwright Award and seven Green Room Awards.

So if you're someone who can approach theatre with an open mind, please buy your tickets now; in seeing this show you will feel like you're making history.

The Rapture plays Wednesday to Sunday at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, until Sunday 16th July. Session times vary, so please check the website. General admission tickets are $48, and general concession $38. If you want to get closer to the action, choose the 'In the Heart of the Rapture' tickets for $98 or the Catwalk tickets for $78. (No booking fees apply.)

Click here to buy tickets and for more information.

The Rapture is for adult audiences, and contains nudity, coarse language and haze. Running time is 80 minutes (no intermission).
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Why? For theatre with a difference - an immersive experience
When: Wed - Sun until 16th July (performance times vary so please check the website)
Phone: (03) 9662 9966
Where: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Cost: $25 - $98
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