Finucane and Smith’s Glory Box

28 Nov

Finucane and Smith’s Glory Box has one of those great titles that sits in front of a rather poorly-conceived production. I might have thought a more accurate description would be ‘Finucane and Smith’s Lucky Dip’, but that probably wouldn’t have drawn the crowds, would it?

I am unsure of the value of such performances as Finucane and Smith’s Glory Box. It seems to me I have just sat at the window of a room and looked in while a few people play dress ups and do silly little routines for no reason other than their own amusement. Apart from a couple of engaging performances, this really didn’t strike me as being a professional production at all. In fact, I wouldn’t even credit most of these performances as a worthwhile party trick without…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.


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12 responses to “Finucane and Smith’s Glory Box

  1. Canberra Dilettante

    Thursday, 29 November 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Oh, well done. Thought I saw you there. I didn’t like much of this, but there seemed to be many drinking Kool-Aid along with the champers. You’ve emboldened me to write it up after all.

    • chilver

      Friday, 30 November 2012 at 7:10 am

      That’s great. Let me know and I’ll post a link.
      I’m new to this cabaret and burlesque stuff, and shows like this aren’t giving me much reason to bother with it…

  2. simon

    Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Cause I’m not a twitterer but I wanted to answer your question to “anything good in Canberra Theatres”…. there’s Rep’s Improbable Fiction and Everyman’s Rent playing next week… either might possibly lift your interest…

  3. chilver

    Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks Simon.
    I have requested to review Rent for Australian Stage next week, so fingers crossed! Can’t finish the year on a sour note!

  4. Canberra Dilettante

    Saturday, 1 December 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Rent should be good – but if you want to leave a theatre with a big grin on your face, definitely see Improbable Fiction!

  5. Karen

    Tuesday, 11 December 2012 at 10:55 pm

    how embarrassing. You really missed the point of this show. I hope you read the Canberra Times review. She got it. As did the the full house of happy punters – oh, but they are mindless fans drinking’ Kool-Aid’…

    • chilver

      Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Karen. Who’s it embarrassing for? If I missed the point of this show, who’s fault is that? It’s not as if I wasn’t listening, or failed to keep my eyes on the stage. They had my attention for what seemed like an eternity and failed, apart from in those moments mentioned, to make any point.

      Was it Michelle Potter’s review you’re referring to (here)? If so, it’s very interesting that you think all reviewers should have the same response… but more interesting still, perhaps, that the pieces Michelle selected for particular praise are the same ones I liked and praised in my review. So while our overall response may be different, we both saw the greatest value in the same places. Most importantly, where we differ is in the claim of there being a point or comment that I could have ‘got’. Michelle saw some kind of “underlying powerful and emotive comment on sexuality, society and theatrical modes of expression”, but still fails to elucidate what that comment was attempting to communicate. Her strength being in dance, perhaps there is some particular code only known to dancers or fans of dancing, which I am not privy to. If so, maybe that’s why I missed the point. And if that’s the case, they weren’t trying to communicate with me anyway, were they?

  6. Otto

    Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Karen seems to think it is the job of the audience to interpret the performers, rather than for the performers to entertain the audience. If a newbie to burlesque finds it hard to engage with, then I think it’s the performers that shuld be embarrassed. I found this show way too loud (as many others have said), and a lot of the acts very out of date (I have been watching and performing burlesque for years and first saw the strawberry act, for instance, about 30 years ago). Perhaps Karen needs to see a bit more burlesque herself to get a handle on what good work really is. Spend a bit of time in New York or Berlin or Paris for example. Finucane is coasting on her much more interesting earlier work.

  7. michelleannepotter

    Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have added my comments on this debate on my website:

    • chilver

      Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Michelle, it’s great to have a real conversation on here!

      We may be talking at cross purposes a little. I didn’t intend to imply that your comment was unclear, but that the comment you say Finucane and Smith are making in their show is unclear. If they’re making a powerful and emotive comment, what is the comment? Is it an encouraging comment? Is it an angry comment? is it a funny comment? That’s the bit I really didn’t get. There I am, sitting in a theatre; engaged, waiting for someone to communicate with me… and I just get this nothingness; karaoke and party tricks, with a couple of interesting bits thrown in. So if, as you say, the comment was there, it didn’t come across to me. Whether I failed to understand the mode of communication or they failed to effectively communicate, I remain in the dark as to what it was they are trying to say about sexuality, society and theatrical modes of expression.

  8. Canberra Dilettante

    Thursday, 13 December 2012 at 1:16 am

    Thanks for the links, Trevar – it is worth noting that the (generally more positive) reviews from the Herald Sun and Theatre People were of a substantially different show – one which featured burlesque legends Meow Meow, Harriet Ritchie and Ursula Martinez. So “lucky dip” is really very apposite!

    • chilver

      Thursday, 13 December 2012 at 7:44 am

      That’s reassuring; unfortunate that Canberra was the unlucky dipper, perhaps, but still!


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