BWW Review: THE RAPTURE CHAPTER II: ART VS EXTINCTION at Fortyfivedownstairs
Moira Finucane's The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction will transport you to an alternative translucent universe. Best described as a melting pot of different artistic styles blended into one, this version of The Rapture will challenge your viewpoint of humanity and our effects on the environment.
Finucane is an expert connoisseur in curating a unique, provocative and at times confronting theatre experience. She also knows how to make an entrance and command attention!
She introduces herself to the audience as a wickedly evil queen decked in a lavish couture gown. Throughout the evening she constantly switches skins between juxtaposing characters, as well as incorporating her own life experiences into the show's narrative. A half naked punk rocker one moment and herself in an Antarctica Cruise jacket the next. In this night of theatre you never know what to expect, particularly when audience participation is demanded. You may even win a prize at the interval raffle, anything is possible!
Finucane shows expert storytelling ability weaving a kaleidoscope of Art, Burlesque, Drag, Comedy, Nudity, Opera, Cabaret, Fundraising, Spirituality and Absurdism together to deliver a powerful punch!
Having encountered The Rapture, also presented by Finucane & Smith in 2017, it was clear that artistic homage to the original show had been lovingly speckled throughout this reimagining. Finucane continues to place herself on a crucifix catwalk stage which is highly effective in creating a unique setting. She surrounds this stage with dots of cabaret tables and art installations, blended together by atmospheric smog. The effect is a feeling of entering an unknown labyrinth.
Chapter II places a heavier focus on humanity's treatment of each other and the environment. Given Finucane's environmental scientist background the text is extremely detailed and well layered. For every cabaret table of every performance of this season, a tree, 888 in total, have been planted in collaboration with Fifteen Trees at either Westgate Reserve or Flowerdale. At the end of the performance each audience member is also given a goodie bag of artistic treats complete with "A Roadmap Of Hope", which lists eight things you can do everyday to save the world. At the conclusion of the show you will leave feeling a better person than when you arrived. These acts of kindness also work perfectly as a prologue and epilogue.
A highlight of the show is Finucane's friend and special guest Ray Dimarrkari Dixon who teaches the audience the Mudburra language from Marlinja in the Northern Territory. By involving the audience in this dialogue Finucane succeeds in her hope to ensure that the Mudburra language, only spoken by approximately 50 people, lives on for eternity.
A mention must also be made for the supporting choir of Mama Alto, Piera Dennerstein and Rachel Lewindon on the piano who excellently support Finucane.
In this important time of many humanitarian and environmental world events, Finucane's work boldy brings the reality of the situation to our attention. While her performance is not for the faint hearted, it is a highly immersive theatrical experience presented with passion and love and is something that must be seen to be believed.
Moira Finucane's The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction is on at fortyfivedownsatirs until 29th September.
Tickets can be purchased from https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/wp2016/event/the-rapture-chapter-ii/