In October 2015, Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box became the fist Australian work ever to be presented at the Havana International Theatre Festival. It was a triumph of tears, standing ovations and passion. Havana lined up from 2pm to get a ticket. The show was discussed avidly in cafes, on streets, in lifts and behind coffee machines. Finucane’s Soup was voted “The Moment” of the Festival. Finucane was invited to address artists, academics, critics and playwrights in the hallowed halls of the National Writers Union, where she spoke about humanity, human rights, art and imagination, access, seduction and subversion, gender and power, and her belief that art can change culture and change lives. She was received with tears and a standing ovation. We met artists, poets, film-makers, writers, waiters, chambermaids, drag queens, students … people. They all came to see Glory Box, and we talked to them all. Total Art. Total Love. Total Freedom. We will return.
“The Glory of Total Art . In the constant pursuit of magnificence, never artistic perfection, as perfection is not human and art is the most exquisite creation of being …. The irreverent lavishness of each intervention of the star and co-director Moira Finucane dazzled from the power of dialogue and great performance; while the beautiful and sensual Holly Durant, dancing, gave poetic illusions. We could appreciate the magic of Azaria Universe, Rockie Stone’s strength and grace; the angelic voices of the beautiful Clare St Clare and divine Mama Alto, and the magnificent hands of Miss Chief on the piano… the vitality of the show exceeded the limits of theatricality and spectacle… Glory Box changed all that before were fears, taboos and restrictions on the personal or artistic into “total art, total love and total freedom.” Cuba Tribune 15 Nov 2015
“A wild sensitivity” Daily Diary of Cuba
“The last show that we discuss is one that undoubtedly has mobilized the public, the media habanero and visitors to the premises of Copa Room of Hotel Riviera: Glory Box, The Revolution, Finucane & Smith of Australia. …Glory Box breaks the mold of habit, and brings a performance art unknown, something that always stirs the curiosity. Forget the drama and theater, this is an interactive show for fun, to explore, to learn something different and to live it intensely since we enter the atmosphere of burlesque erotic charge. We gratefully applaud the capacity of these Australian artists to make us see that there are no limits or boundaries in art.” 29 Oct GRANMA National daily paper of Cuba
ABOUT GLORY BOX
Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box is an explosive, electrifying genre-defying, immersive live-art salon, internationally renowned for its rigor and daring in defining & redefining of performance forms. Blending historic entertainment forms with the avant-garde & surreal – from butoh to chanson, the gothic literary to vaudeville, circus to grand guignol – and creating brand new performance forms in continuous evolution and revolution, Glory Box is the Franken-Spectacular of erotically charged, monstrous and electrifying acts that shoves a fork into the toaster of cabaret, circus, burlesque and performance art.
Led by the woman who has been hailed as the Queen Provocateur, “La Gloriosa” Moira Finucane, Glory Box has played to 300,000 people worldwide, received standing ovations across 5 continents, acclaim in thirteen languages, winning twelve awards, including 5 Green Room Awards, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, and The Golden Potato for rural cultural engagement & inspiration.
After 70 international sell-out seasons, from Croatia to Tokyo, London to Ljubljana, Italy to Edinburgh, and 3 under the sails of the Sydney Opera House, In 2013 Glory Box became the first Australian work ever to be invited to Latin America’s most prestigious arts festival, the Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires.
In 2014 Glory Box turned Ten, with The Age begging “Ten more years please”, and seasons around the world culminating in performing for 10,000 people in Praca Franklin Roosevelt in Sao Paulo, BrazilIn 2015 Glory Box becomes the first Australian work ever to be invited to the Havana International Theatre Festival in its thirty year history.
IN THE BEGINNING
Eleven years ago Moira Finucane & Jackie Smith were on the veranda of a southern Chinese avant garde nightclub, watching the pouring rain make hundreds of red lanterns sway like jellyfish in the branches of a giant tree, and they had a wild vision … they wanted to open a salon, a salon of the extraordinary and the underground, the unforgettable and indefinable, as seductive as it was subversive, as provocative as it was entertaining. They finished their drinks, bought boxes of red lanterns, went home to Australia and premiered The Burlesque Hour.
Against all odds, told it would never reach more than a fringe and alternative audience, Burlesque Hour sold out the night it opened, and by the time Finucane & Smith received 4 Green Room AwardS for the premier season they were in Rome recovering from a triumphant Edinburgh season. The Burlesque Hour had arrived; turning cabaret, burlesque and performance art on its head, treating entertainment like an electricity cable, delivering power anywhere.
Led by the woman who has been hailed as the Queen of Provocative Variety, “La Gloriosa”, Moira Finucane, Glory Box unleashes an ever evolving pack of divas in demi-monde nightclub with jaw dropping cabaret, insolent and exotic live art, circus & sideshow, butoh & disco, grand guignol, backroom ballet, improbable architectural body art all to an electric eclectic soundtrack “the best party mix tape ever”. Glory Box has been called a ‘revolution in a chocolate box’. Around the world critics, academics, feminists and audience members talk about freedom in relation to the work. In 2012 Burlesque Hour evolved again, and the Glory Box: Burlesque Hour meets Pandora’s Box opened its wild lid, and since that moment has never been shut. That year, Finucane & Smith took their provocative variety to every part of Australia – from Tennant Creek to Sydney Harbour, The Pilbara to Alice Springs – in a legendary 8 months of dancing ovations, passionate community exchange of hearts, minds and big ideas; with songs in Indigenous language, artists & art forms from around the world, and community engagement, and artistic exchange that continues to grow today.
It was the longest regional and remote Variety tour of Australia since the Tivoli. In 2014, Glory Box turned Ten, with The Age begging “Ten More Years Please”. At the dawn of a new era, Glory Box bursts for anew. Again.
Oct 2015 Havana International Theatre Festival CUBA
Jan/Feb 2015 Substation MELBOURNE
Jul 2014 Tenth Anniversary Season, Melba Spiegeltent, MELBOURNE
May 2014 Festival Internacional Belo Horizonte, Below Horizonte, BRAZIL
May 2014 Virada Cultural Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Mar 2014 Garden of Unearthly Delights, ADELAIDE
Jan 2014 Substation, MELBOURNE
Oct 2013 Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Jul/Aug 2013 GLORY BOX PARADISE fortyfivedownstairs, MELBOURNE
May 2012 – Jan 2013 CARAVAN BURLESQUE REGIONAL & REMOTE TOUR 72 towns and cities around
Nov /Dec 2012 The Street Theatre, CANBERRA
Nov 2012 The Seymour Centre, SYDNEY
Jun/Jul 2012 GLORY BOX: BURLESQUE HOUR MEETS PANDORA’S BOX fortyfivedownstairs,
MELBOURNE (feat. Ursula Martinez, Meow Meow, Amy Saunders)
Australia Jul/Aug 2011 fortyfivedownstairs, MELBOURNE (feat. Rhonda Burchmore, Pamela Rabe,
Vika & Linda Bull, Kamahi Djordon King, Die Roten Punkte, BalletLab, Deborah Conway)
Mar 2010 Garden of Unearthly Delights, ADELAIDE
Feb 2010 The Street Theatre, CANBERRA
Aug 2009 Sziget Festival, Budapest, HUNGARY
Jun 2009 fortyfivedownstairs, MELBOURNE (feat. Toni Lamond, Ursula Martinez & Paul Capsis)
May 2009 Gold Coast Arts Centre, QUEENSLAND
Feb 2009 Street Theatre, CANBERRA
Jan 2009 Sydney Festival, Sydney Opera House, SYDNEY
Oct 2008 Gorgeous Festival, Spiegeltent @ Sydney Opera House, SYDNEY
Jun 2008 fortyfivedownstairs, MELBOURNE
Jun 2008 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, ADELAIDE
Jun & Jul 2008 Shaken & Stirred Festival, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, GEELONG
Dec 2007 Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre, MELBOURNE
Oct 2007 City of Women Festival, Ljubljana, SLOVENIA
Oct 2007 Teatro Miela, Trieste, ITALY
Oct 2007 Drugo More, Rijeka CROATIA
Oct 2007 Taranaki Festival NEW ZEALAND
Jun 2007 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, ADELAIDE
Feb 2008 BankArt (as a Night of Art Burlesque) Yokohama, JAPAN
Jun 2006 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, ADELAIDE
Jan 2006 The Famous Spiegeltent, Australian Performing Arts Market, ADELAIDE
Dec 2005 The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre, MELBOURNE
Sept 2005 La Gayola, Spiegelgarden, with Spiegeltent International, EDINBURGH Fringe Festival
Dec 2004 The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre, MELBOURNE
Nov 2004 The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre, MELBOURNE
Nov 2004 Lion Arts Centre, presented by Feast Festival and Vitalstatistix, ADELAIDE
Nov 2004 The Studio, Sydney Opera House, presented by the Sydney Opera House, SYDNEY
Jul 2004 Premiere Season fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, MELBOURNE
AWARDS & REVIEWS
2015 Perth Fringeworld Cabaret Weekly Award Winner
2014 Golden Potato Award for cultural services to the Bellarine Community
2014 Adelaide Fringe Cabaret Weekly Award Winner
2013 Farsa Magazine Show of the Year List (Buenos Aires)
2012 Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Winner Green Room Award
2011 Helpmann Award Best Cabaret Artist (Caravan Burlesque) Nominee
2009 Helpmann Award Best Cabaret Artist (The Burlesque Hour) Nominee
2005 Scotland on Sunday “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”
2005 Australian Dance Most Interesting & Innovative Works List
2005 InPress Magazine Show of the Year (Burlesque Hour)
2004 Green Room Award Most Outstanding Work (Burlesque Hour) Winner
2004 Green Room Award Best Direction (Burlesque Hour) Winner
2004 Green Room Award Most Innovative Use of Form (Burlesque Hour) Winner 2004 Green Room Award Most Best Design (Burlesque Hour)
“The best theater is always provocative. No need to go back to the feast of Dionysus: when Alfred Jarry premiered his celebrated Ubu King, and more than a spectator fled in terror from the room. When Ionesco staged The Bald Soprano , there were many critics who savaged the Romanian author. Not to mention the confusion that attended Waiting for Godot, the great work of Samuel Beckett. If the theater is not part of a powerful conflict , if it cannot get us out of our daily routines , if it does not have the tools to reveal other realities, it’s not theater. Moreover it is not art . It’s pure entertainment, respectable, indeed. Artaud said it clearly : “The theater is like the plague, a scourge avenger, redeeming epidemic “. Without going any further , one of the most successful shows of which were presented at the International Theatre Festival of Buenos Aires (FIBA ) was The Glory Box of Finucane & Smith . And not just for the exotic routines that unfolded on the stage of La Trastienda from the extraordinary Moira Finucane, head of a tribe as unclassifiable as talented, but also by their look, sometimes bitter, but full of vitality, with which she knows to describe some aspects of contemporary world.” LA NACION (THE NATION), ARGENTINA
“Arousing strong expectation, Glory Box takes hold of acrobatics, circus, nudity, disco, punk, and sharply unique aesthetics, cabaret, burlesque and the characteristic of grande guignol. Every number exists on the border; Moira Finucane is the superdiva, beautiful bodies are displayed without silicon or plastics, gender is shaken, this is a permanent provocation, and the public is invited to share the wildness and acid-dry humour. Somehow the Glory Box shakes up an sense of normal culture! And we get it!” CLARIN NEWS ARGENTINA
“Real women, actual sensuality , no silicone and all of provocation. The show is brash and exotic. Moira Finucane is The Empress, Beauty Queen of the Damned, Macabre Lover. Her stage presence is simply inexplicable , the audience is stunned, laughs , does not understand it , they enjoy it. The show is a succession of scenes that explode, each different from the next, each completely surprising. The Glory Box is something that is the most incredible thing I saw in a long time, and has to do with the way the public understands it . Just see how they love her, because she’s great! Bloody orgasmic performance , hula hula with hundreds of rings, balance on a ball , hip hop, pop hits like I Touch Myself and milk (yes, I said milk ) , Glory Box seems to last a sigh . The entire show sitting on the edge of my chair , unable to believe what these women live, wanting to get on the stage just loved them . They promise to return to Buenos Aires so stay tuned , because they also promise to change the world.” REVISTACURENDERA ARGENTINA
“I’ve run out of passionate adjectives to shout about how damn amazing this work continues to be … the ninth year of Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith’s subversive and celebratory burlesque where the passion is as potent as any cocktail and unrealistic expectations are turned into exquisite beauty. These are women who are sexual but are never sexualised. And this may be why every act is greeted with cheers. And there’s Moira. There’s no one like her. As an artist she creates work that is so from her heart and self that no one will ever be able to recreate it. It’s gutsy and lusty and masculine and feminine and refuses to be anything that isn’t Moira Finucane.” AUS. THEATRE
“On the barometric scale that arcs from feminine to feminist to female, The Burlesque Hour is so far off-the-chart, the needle is pointing to meteor… there’s a storm front approaching. The Burlesque Hour is a series of set pieces…by an unholy trinity of fatale feministas: Moira Finucane, beauty queen of the damned; Yumi Umiumare, an Asian tiger in a China doll shop; and Azaria Universe, the perfect blend of form and function. The Burlesque Hour is eye-popping, balloon-popping, cork-popping theatre. It’s the kind of show you need a cigarette after… and several months of psychoanalysis.” HERALD SUN
“The perfect fusion of vaudeville tradition with the experience of postmodernity. To enter the Glory Box is to start a journey on the exotic road of more traditional forms of theater, burlesque to vaudeville, circus to cabaret, side by side with the very great artists that merge with pop, classical, tribal, and rock music. In The Glory Box all emotions have their place, the sensations occur, overlap: from the most visceral horror to laughter, amazement empathy, tragedy to romance, and always talent, pure talent, talent and art. Within the space of this cabaret, the fetish of slave bodies is subverted and turned into delight, into free bodies, into newfound femininity, into the expression of art. Moira and Jackie set out to create a place that was amazing, magical, underground, unforgettable, seductive and revolutionary, provocative, glorious. They did. Oh, how they did it.”★★★★★ FARSA MAGAZINE BUENOS AIRES
“Intensive and hairsplitting physicality… it opens up a whole new world, a world of the surreal” DNEVNIK NEWS, SLOVENIA
“Unmissable…The minds that inspired it are as sexy as the bodies that perform it… comic, erotic, dynamic, acrobatic… The Burlesque Hour is a night to remember and will retain its power to delight and disturb long after the carnival is over” THE AGE MELBOURNE
“If Royston Vasey had a cabaret club, it would look something like The Burlesque Hour. And what entertainment! Surreal doesn’t quite do justice to this session of gender-bending, bodice-ripping, stereotype-trashing neo-circus cabaret madness, especially to its frighteningly possessed star and director Moira Finucane. Her critically lauded company set the Australian box office ablaze with sell-out seasons in Melbourne and Sydney last year and it looks set to do the same on this first European tour. Co-stars Yumi Umiumare, a captivating ‘shock artiste’ schooled in Japanese butoh by Tokyo’s acclaimed DaiRakudakan, Moscow Circus School-credited Azaria Universe and immaculately polished duo The Town Bikes complete this beautifully twisted package. Wrapped up in a gloriously eclectic soundtrack, which perfectly complements its sexually emancipated humour and kerosene fuelled energy, The Burlesque Hour is guaranteed to send the more genteel denizens of Edinburgh scuttling back to their tearooms in disgust.” ★★★★★ METRO UK
“From the sublime to the subversive, the hot to the hilarious…outrageous and unforgettable” LONDON TIMES
“Dramatic, original, effective, breathtaking … beyond genre: the cabaret variety set on fire, definitely” VECER NEWS, SLOVENIA
“I thought I would have nightmare after seeing this show but it was a fantastically indecent and breath-taking night!! In this political time, this indecent and crazy event was so perfect to have at the old warehouse in Yokohama, where it was as if “evil place” in a famous action movie popped up for one night only” WANDER DISTANCE MAGAZINE, YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
“Prepare to be shocked and overwhelmed. Expect no less. Experience so much more. The Burlesque Hour is not for the faint-hearted, the queasy or the conservative. But even these types have to appreciate the entertaining spectacle for what it is. It’s difficult not to. These showgirls are polished and prepared to dazzle, from their go-go dancing routines right through to mad moments of nudity. Jaw dropping, feisty, seductive, dynamic… I suggest you grab a drink, sit back and allow yourself to be thrilled. Unmissable.” ★★★★★ EDINBURGH GUIDE
“Fairground attraction meets sexy sideshow burlesque in the hottest temptation of the Festival” SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY REVIEW
“Every single artiste is wickedly entertaining, yet hugely different… saucier than your Edinburgh chippy … grotesquely addictive … with more than a tablespoonful of gothic sex appeal…It’s Burlesque that’s cool in the cabaret coolness stakes now”★★★★★ THREE WEEKS
“You might like to think of Moira Finucane as a latter day punk feminist Gyspy Rose Lee (herself no intellectual slouch) … its variety of acts and devil may care waywardness and its mix of upfront raunchiness and highbrow wit is what makes The Burlesque Hour so enticing” The Sunday Age
“The Burlesque Hour is a succession of delights; performed with enormous wit, style, intelligence and originality… a show that is faithful to the spirit of saucy variety but uses the form to explore sexuality and desire… A great pity this show didn’t run longer. It’s a knockout.” THE SUNDAY AGE
“Extraordinary…powerful…when burlesque is good, it is transforming for performer and audience and has a unique ability to enter the mainstream without losing any of its power to subvert. After all, Finucane has played the Sydney Opera House without changing her act one jot… this art form has life in it yet” THE GUARDIAN
“Burlesque Hour will have you mentally erasing any previous ideas about burlesque shows.” THE AUSTRALIAN
“Burlesque. It conjures up images of corseted with big bosoms and curvaceous legs singing saucy songs. Well, The Burlesque Hour certainly provides the corseted women and some fabulous legs. The songs are more raunchy than saucy, and it is all set in a convivial cabaret atmosphere… Moira Finucane, Azaria Universe and Yumi Umiumare deliver powerful performances drawing on contemporary popular song, from the schmaltzy sob of love-gone-wrong to hard-core thrash. the costumes range from extravagant gowns to next-to-nothing; after all as long as a girl has her pearls on, isn’t that enough? These three gutsy women…intense… superb…deliciously ambiguous.” THE AGE
“The Burlesque Hour. a gob smacking highlight of the last 12 months , simple in concept, modern in approach, profoundly complex and breathtakingly beautiful – it showed what talented artists can do.and should be doing.” INPRESS MAGAZINE
Glory Box is available to tour in its full theatrical realisation, or in its sumptuous salon version for smaller venues and festivals. Generic Technical Specifications: PLEASE NOTE Glory Box can be adjusted to fit a wide range of venues – cabaret seating, spiegeltents, prosc arch, studio style theatres, a mix of rakes and table seating. Please contact our technical manager about your venue specifically. Salon of Live Ladies also tours in its full theatrical realisations and as a simpler but sumptuous salon. Below are generic technical specifications for a theatrical realisation. This should be viewed as a guide only: Generic technical specifications (full theatrical realisation). Click here for pdf. Also available are full theatrical realisation staging, rigging and side elevation plans, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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