Thursday 21 July 2022

FUTURE.JOY.CLUB - Cabaret Review


WHEN: 7 July - 7 August 2022

WHERE: LaTrobe Ballroom, Sofitel Hotel

ALCHEMISED BY: Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith

PERFORMED BY: Govind Pillai, Iva Rosebud, Jazida, Lois Onley, Mama Alto, Moira Finucane, Rachel Lewindon, Sophie Koh

Moira Finucane - Photo by Jodie Hutchison

Book now! Book now! Book now! There is still time to see FUTURE.JOY.CLUB and this is exactly the show your soul needs right now. Emerging from a litany of lockdowns Finucane and Smith Unlimited have gifted us with this glorious show of pure love, pure life, and pure laughter. They are the harbingers of the future, the harbingers of joy, the harbingers of our restored humanity.

Known for their amazing and spectacular costumes, Moira Finucane starts the show in her jammies. Why not? We just spent 2 years learning that PJs are not just for bedtime. Whilst this single statement is somewhat ironic and suitably surprising, it also speaks to what FUTURE.JOY.CLUB is about. This is a show which acknowledges the past and brings us all LAUGHING.CHEERING.CRYING into a future full of possibilities. Why wouldn't the comfort of pyjamas be a part of that future too?

FUTURE.JOY.CLUB takes Finucane and Smith back to their roots, reveling in the sexy fun and frivolity of burlesque. The objective is to bring joy to the audience and, in a way, give us permission to mix and mingle and just enjoy everything about being around other human beings. And yes, sex is one of those things. Who else is going to tell you to your face that sex is OK and you should go and do lots of it - with consent of course!

Finucane and Smith have a way of tackling complex ideas wrapped up in packages of glitter and spangle and whilst FUTURE.JOY.CLUB is less oratorical than more recent presentations they do not let us down. In this iteration the point is you can do anything you want again - but do it with consent. This amazing ensemble of performers then spend the rest of the night showing us how to indulge and debauch all within a frame of consent. Freedom only comes with consent.

This is a show designed to make the audience holler and whoop with rousing song and titillating dance but one of the things I did notice is most of the hollering and whooping seemed to come from women and I found myself pondering how men find a way to fully express themselves in lust in the modern 'politically correct' era. I have come to realise that Finucane and Smith provide the answer to this very modern dilemma in FUTURE.JOY.CLUB - and the answer is consent. It is so simple you will kick yourself for not realising it sooner. 

Have your fun, men. Enjoy whatever you most enjoy here at FUTURE.JOY.CLUB because in here they consent. Do you swoon over the classical beauty of the female form? Jazida consents to your admiration and approbation. Does a young male God appeal to your desires? Govind Pillai is here to send you to the moon and back with his bling and booty out there to be enjoyed. Are you up for some cross-gender tomfoolery? Well Iva Rosebud lets it all hang out - and such an intriguing use of gaffer tape too!

The other important aspect of Finucane and Smith shows is they are visceral and appeal to all senses. From the first sip of the welcome cocktail to the final invitation to get up and dance, all of your mind and body are engaged. You don't just see or hear a Finucane and Smith show. You taste it. You feel it. You smell it. It touches both your heart and your brain. It gives everything, all we have to do is consent to receiving .

The journey of FUTURE.JOY.CLUB takes us back so we can move forward. Finucane takes us back to when a female stripper struggled to get respect as an artist (about 4 years ago, can you believe it?) and shows us what a true Very Important Person looks like. Lois Onley takes us back to our tragic shame of stolen generations and black deaths in custody and show us the depth of the pain through her glorious jazz/blues style to help us think differently and, hopefully, start acting differently. Indi artists Sophie Koh takes us back to the roots of her first language and shows us how many languages can make one most beautiful song. [Sidenote: You have never heard 'Creep' until you have heard this version by Koh].

Mama Alto belts out the anthem 'I Will Survive' reminding us of what we've been through, before reminding us of the gift we have in re-emergence with a soul-tingling rendition of 'The First Time Every I Saw Your Face'. The outrageously talented Rachel Lewindon plays the piano with all the virtuosity we remember before stepping out onto the catwalk and claiming her space as a star, singing her own new song and rocking the house down!

So much future. So much joy. So much club. Yes - we even get to dance the Macarena! This is the show we all need to experience to open the door to our brave new world. This is the show which will start the newness in the right direction. This is a show which can change the world - your world - but you have to see it NOW. It is a show in a moment and the moment is now. Book now! Book now! Book now!

4.5 Stars

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