Theatre review: Future.Joy.Club.

A delicious cocktail of burlesque finery from Finucane and Smith and friends.

Within the lush, mirrored ballroom of The Sofitel on Collins Street in Melbourne is this season’s hottest variety-burlesque spectacular. Journey down the rabbit hole and enter into a world of surrealism and seduction. A world that has no boundaries; for all to call home. This is Future. Joy. Club.

Over two hours, a myriad of performers, singers, dancers, and burlesque artists dazzle and
delight. Among the standouts of the night include rising pop star Sophie Koh who performs
multi-lingual covers and original singles; gender transcendent diva Mama Alto, whose
electrifying vocals shake the room into dance; and lightning rod burlesque artist Jazida who
forces the audience to watch on as she puts out fires with her tongue. 

Led by the wickedly tantalising Moira Finucane, this versatile ensemble brings a new edge to
golden age burlesque and variety vanguard. Provocateur extraordinaire, Finucane – whose
international success has extended from Stockholm to Sao Paulo and everywhere in
between – does not disappoint as Club Host and Chief Alchemiser.

Finucane’s talent lies in foregrounding the grotesque and subversive with wit and sophistication. Backed by the co-direction of Jackie Smith (Patrick White Playwright Award winner) this power duo delivers a show that saves us from the basic binge-watching entertainment we have grown dependent on during two years of lockdown – seducing us with just the right amount of joy, madness, and thrill.

The highlight of the night was Ngurlama jazz blues singer Lois Olney. Her conversational
charm and raw performance was a refreshing hit from the upbeat remixes and renditions of
Britney and Gloria. Olney’s distinctive, gentle vocals fused with acoustic guitar (Dave
Johnson) mesmerised the audience. Listening to Olney perform live is an unforgettable
experience; her vocals soothing you into reflection while covering you in warm velvet.

From Olney’s rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’ to Finucane’s intense tomato soup
splattering act (you’ll understand when you see it) Future. Joy. Club. isn’t afraid of shifting
pace, albeit rather abruptly. While at times the pacing of the night may have caused you to
enter into cardiac arrest, the performers were the saving grace.

Read: Theatre review: My Self In That Moment

An ultimate celebration of togetherness, these multi-cultured, multi-generational, and multi-faceted artists radiate nothing but love for one another and their own idiosyncrasies. Reminding us that the is nothing more important than supporting others, particularly those artists who have had it tough during the pandemic.

With a stellar soundtrack, killer vocals, gorgeous costumes, seductive showgirls and
stripteases, the headlines were right about Future. Joy. Club. This is a world ‘you’ll never
want to leave.’

Future. Joy. Club.
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Directors: Moira Finucane & Jackie Smith

Tickets: $38-$88

Future. Joy. Club. will be performed until 7 August 2022

Caitlin is a Melbourne-based writer whose work has been published in Australia’s Style Magazine, ArtsHub, Lip Mag, Intrepid Times, The Blue Nib Literary Magazine, among others.