We’re very fortunate, those of us who live or visit Melbourne – it’s an eclectic and cultural city, but an almost kind of warped culture, a sort of baroque pearl – beautiful and thought provoking but imperfect and all the better for it.
In 1998 I came down from Sydney to visit a good friend and one of the highlights during my visit (soon to be a relocation) was the Brunswick St Festival, with it’s haphazard floats of messy love, music and art. Sadly the Brunswick St Festival is no longer with us, but I see something similar in the productions of Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith.
Together these ladies have created something incredible and unique – a collaboration that takes in many different performers of polish and skill but also a grittiness, an appreciation of sexuality and the darkside. There’s a sense of freedom and indulgence that is quite unique. A deliriousness of emotions and experience.
Watch ecstatically as Azaria Universe turns around over and over again (pearls flailing) to “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, swoon as Clare St Clare sizzles with “Blue Velvet”, squeal with delight as Moira spurts milk all over the (nylon protected) audience and admire the energy and talent of triple threat Holly Durant, among many incredible others. Unbelievable.
There’s something here of the old world and new, a modern and disturbing update of the Tivoli Variety Show that will leave you exhilarated and yearning for more.
Luckily for the rest of the world, this glamourous and dangerous troupe travels – next stop Cuba. Catch them while you can, in the glorious surrounds of the Melba Spiegeltent until September 13, and in the meanwhile I will enjoy my “Glory Box” hot pink knickers embroidered (lovingly, no doubt) with Total Art.
All images reproduced courtesy of Finucane and Smith. Photography by Jodie Hutchinson.