Fragments sit and lie through the space, even including two singers that perform under black gauze as the audience take their seats at tables. There’s a wilted bouquet on each table, but make no mistake there is life on stage. There’s also ornate birds, a Fabergé pineapple, and a bottle of tomato sauce.
The Rapture is personal. A courageous undertaking, Moira Finucane attempts to knit together years of artistic influences and exploration. The Rapture is also political, statements about the environment or gender violence exerting themselves throughout.
A shame then, that far too much of the dialogue was deformed to point of being unintelligible. The physicality was always striking, and even though this was a work of aural and bodily disruption, it still proved frustrating at times.
If The Rapture is a sermon about anything, it is art’s capacity to transform – not the audience (well, not just the audience), but the artist. Thus, an element of self-indulgence is unavoidable, which Moira rightly embraces with a sudden shift from the epic to the matter-of-fact, in a long monologue about a female artist she became aware of who happened to face her own criticisms of self-indulgence and ‘shocking’ acts of arbitrary nakedness (not coincidently is Moira completely bare while telling this anecdote). These moments of direct address worked well throughout the show, but here it admittedly felt defensive.
Accompanied by Miss Chief on piano, the choir of Clare St Clare, Mama Alto, and Shirley Cattunar were wonderful. Ritual abounds in this production and these three Moirai enriched the work with compelling voice and action.
What The Rapture is not, is passive. An audacious work, it sits as a theatrical Rorschach inkblot – something greater than the sum of its parts.
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 2 July 2017 – 5.30pm
Season continues to 16 July 2017
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Moira Finucane in The Rapture – photo by Paul Dunne
Review: David Collins