11 July 2017

Review: The Rapture

The Rapture
Finucane & Smith
1 July 2017
to 15 July

Moira Finucane

The Rapture is a new work by Finucane & Smith – do I need to say more – and a community of artists who continue to create space where art offers hope and audiences dance.

It’s mostly a solo work by Moira Finucane; solo that’s only possible with the support and contribution of many, including a Mama Alto, Clare St Clare, Shirley Cattunar and Miss Chief on the stage, and music by Darrin Verhagen and Ben Keene. And Jackie Smith.

In the hazy underground of fortyfivedownstairs, there’s a catwalk that rejects any thought that imperfect isn’t exquisite. Here, Moira channels every god and devil that’s ever been worshipped or dismissed as she explores the love and despair that makes humans search for more than what we think we are. Then in a blink, she’s the person maybe only seen at home when no one is looking. Never assume that the divine are more than human.

Here naked means nothing more than naked and cheap tomato sauce from the supermarket is as much art as the hand-sewn costumes and original music created from hours of frustration and joy.

Moira’s performance is uncensored – no, that’s not the right word. So much of what we see in theatre is created for others: for subscribers, critics, ticket buyers, boards, bosses and funding bodies. And if it fails to thrill, the “fors” are blamed for not getting it or daring to be bored or disconnected.

Moira’s performance is self-indulgent – that’s not it either. Self indulgence on a stage doesn’t welcome an audience and brings little more than pleasure to the self-pleasuring artist.

Self indulgence and self censorship are for self. This work is deeply personal, but if it were all for herself, it wouldn’t connect and there wouldn’t a growing community of audiences (all over the world, now) who know they are as much a part of the experience as the artists who create it.

The Rapture comes from the very personal and reaches to places that are unknown but familiar. Even if you haven’t been in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles and swung between despair and ecstasy at the human capacity to grieve and to treasure, you know what it’s like to think what you’d give up if you had to. Even if you can’t see structural oppression, even if you cringe at imperfection, even if you don't love polar bears, there's a place where thought falls away and we connect – even if you have no idea why.

We know when we're struggling and we usually know why. The Rapture gives us no excuse not to hope. It doesn't get much better than that.

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