Finucane & Smith ring in the Year of the Dragon with House of the Heart

House of the Heart Finucane and Smith

Melbourne’s variety darlings Finucane & Smith are ringing in the Year of the Dragon with their cabaret “House of the Heart,” at the Chinese Museum in Melbourne.

The forever captivating Moira Finucane leads a her troupe of collaborators in a cocktail of cabaret that will tickle all the senses. This show swirls across language and culture to explore home, family and how we create a sense of place, and heart-felt belonging, in this country we all call home. 

House of the Heart Finucane and Smith

The Chinese Museum is a wonderfully unique venue to have in the heart of the oldest Chinatown in the world. As my plus one and I were ushered into the intimate space, with a delicious lychee dragon cocktail on hand, we couldn’t help but stare at all the ornamentation surrounding us.

The Dragon Gallery where the show is held is home to three wonderful dragons used for processions, including the Millennium Dragon ‘Dai Loong‘ which is the longest procession dragon in the world, and requires 200 over people to awaken him for for parades. To sit in this fantastic space surrounded by dragons is a truly wonderful way to start the Chinese New Year.

House of the Heart Finucane and Smith

Other fantastic performances in ‘House of the Heart’ included pop and cabaret star Sophie Koh, the incredible Indigenous Ngarluma Jazz blues legend Lois Olney, who dedicated her bittersweet music to lost family, musician Rachel Lewindon, cellist Xiao Xiao, bellydancer Raksha Parsnani and rising star Zi Tao.

A staple of Finucane & Smith’s shows is dancer and storyteller Paul Cordeiro, who told a their powerful personal story of family and immigration to Australia through music, dance and spoken word.

We also loved hearing captivating and creative stories from Moira Finucane on her favourite marine biology topics such as how emperor penguins survive the harsh Arctic winter to protect their offspring, the leafy sea dragons off the coast of Australia and the wonderful journey of swallows who call the world their home, no matter which part of it they may land.

Each highly-considered song, spoken-word performance or dance was executed with such conviction and passion that it’s impossible not to be on the edge of your seat needing more.

House of the Heart Finucane and Smith

While the acts were very diverse, the themes explored in this show were strongly grounded in home, family and how we create a sense of place, and heart-felt belonging. It feels intimate, real and important.

At almost three hours (including a short intermission), the overall show was a little drawn out and could have done with a trim here and there, however with such captivating performers you’ll soon loose track of the time.

Finucane and Smith’s ‘House of the Heart‘ is a vibrant fusion of ancient and contemporary, a melting pot of cultures and voices sharing stories that bridge generations and continents and will leave you feeling a warm sense of belonging.

– The Plus Ones

Finucane and Smith’s new show ‘House of the Heart’ is playing at the Chinese Theatre 15th February – 10th March, 2024. Book tickets here.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of The Second Nature Society & Finucane & Smith.

Photo credit: Supplied.