Moira Finucane’s The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction

The polar caps are melting, sacred trees are being carved down and Moira Finucane has had enough. Come party at the edge of the abyss.

Yes that’s right – Melbourne’s apocalyptic rock goddess Moira Finucane has returned from Antarctica with a confronting new show.
The crucifix catwalk and religious iconography from The Rapture: Chapter One are back with a twist. A polar vortex has swept through the cavernous space of fortyfive downstairs, leaving frozen icicles hanging from the ceiling, as well as saint-like statues of Antarctic penguins guarding the stage. This is a cabaret show unlike anything you have seen before.

The angelic vocals of Melbourne’s very own diva Mama Alto are joined on stage with operatic star Piera Dennerstein. The guest for our night was Mudburra musician Ray Dimakarri Dixon, who performed some very special songs from his new album, and we understand other guests will be welcomed to the Rapture stage over the next few weeks.

Over the course of a few hours, Finucane weaves stories from her time performing in international festivals, to the fear of embarrassment when singing karaoke on a boat in the cold oceans of Antarctica, thousands of kilometres from the safety and comfort of home. These dreamlike accounts and monologues on art, extinction and the destruction of our planet are haunting. One story that has stuck with me is Finucane’s tale of discarded plastic netting which traps sea life until their corpses sink to the bottom of the ocean, only to be eaten by the creatures in the dark depths before rising to the surface once more. She describes this as hell, and I have to agree.
Compared with previous Finucane & Smith productions such as the joyful Carousel or electrifying Glory Box, The Rapture Chapter II at times feels like a swan song to the planet and an icy reminder of death. It’s clear that the powerhouse of creativity here can’t be contained to one genre or theme.

While the world may be on the edge of the abyss, and the problems seem overwhelming, Finucane’s timely message offers a glimpse at salvation. A tree will be planted for every table filled during this season. It’s just one way that art can truly change the world.

– Tomas
Tomas Zagoda is a filmmaker, writer, coffee addict and tall person who does not play basketball. You can follow him @TomasZagoda.

The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction is playing at fortyfive downstairs until 29 September. Book tickets on their website.
The venue is partially accessible by 24 hour advance notice.

Disclaimer: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Prue Bassett Publicity.
Images: Jodie Hutchinson / Supplied.