Led by volcanic live artist, magic realist and creator Moira Finucane and Patrick White Playwright Award winner and director Jackie Smith, named “national treasures” in their home country of Australia, the works of Finucane & Smith have set critics raving and had festival audiences around the world in raptures.
They work in national galleries and amusement parks, in the desert under the sky and in antique musical halls. They mix artists, audiences and art forms in unexpected and powerful cocktails, they create worlds “so beautiful it hurts to leave them” from complex indoor Carnivals, to massive four- pottered Gothic Boudoirs, to intimate velveteen salons, to sumptuous feasts in magic realist Cantinas; their work is infecting – moving, visceral, mystical, funny, dark and joyous.
From Stockholm to Tokyo, Ljubljana to London, Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo, they are acclaimed in thirteen languages, and have won 15 theatre awards including The Patrick White Playwright Award, Cuba’s National Theatre Award, the CHAMACO for the most outstanding International Presentation of 2015, 7 coveted Green Room Awards, the Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Award, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, the Australia Council for the Arts Theatre Fellowship, and this year Finucane became Creative Fellow of the National Gallery of Victoria, the first ever appointed.
They were compared to Beckett, Ionesco and Jarry by Argentina’s La Nacion when they became the first Australian company to be invited to the Latin America’s most celebrated international arts festival, Festival International de Buenos Aires (2013); they’ve played for 10,000 people in Franklin Roosevelt Square Sao Paulo, in 2014 Finucane starred in avant-garde Chinese director Meng Jinghuis’ Good Person of Szechaun in Melbourne, Beijing & Shanghai; and this year Finucane & Smith won International Presentation of the year across Cuba, when they became again the first Australian company to be invited to Cuba’s Havana International Theatre Festival in its 30 year history.
In 2016 they collaborated with exquisite artists & companies worldwide; premiering their new literary dark erotic variety The Birds; in Chile creating a Spanish-language Latin-American gothic of their acclaimed work The Flood; in Colombia a cross-artform Pinocchia; and in China The Flood becomes the first Australian drama to be presented in Eastern China’s largest & longest standing theatre festival The Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival; followed by a season in the XiXi International Arts Festival, Hangzhou
They believe in seduction and subversion; in theatrical and performance rapture: art that is powerful, transcendent & transformative; that honours the intelligence of audiences, that treasures humanity; that opens up discourse around freedom, hope & agency; that emasculates an unequal status quo; and that changes culture and changes lives. With their cherished audiences, their greatest partners in adventure, they fly towards Paradise.
“If the theatre 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 not theatre. Moreover it is not art. It’s pure entertainment, respectable, indeed. Artaud said it clearly: “The theatre 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 sharp, but full of vitality, with which she knows to describe some aspects of contemporary world.”
LA NACION , ARGENTINA 2014