“Moira, why do you do nude work in the middle of the winter?” a friend once asked burlesque beauty Moira Finucane.
“It’s because we turn rain into steam, it warms everyone up,” she cheekily replied.
For the past eight winters, Finucane and her troupe of extraordinary performers have braved the Melbourne frost to warm up audiences with their cabaret extravaganza The Burlesque Hour.
Glory Box is the show’s latest incarnation, a tribute from some Latin American fans, as Finucane explained.
“All these South Americans started coming to see the show, both because they loved it but also because they wanted me, and the show, to come to South America,” she said.
Finucane’s fans started to call her “La Gloriosa”, a Spanish term for glorious revolution.
“One night at 1am we were sitting around with about 20 Latin Americans from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, all these different people, and they said, ‘This is like a present, a present that you keep opening’,” she said.
Finucane and her partner Jackie Smith combined the two ideas and created Glory Box.
“It was this feeling that it was La Gloriosa’s box of presents,” she said.
The show features sword-swallowing sweetheart Miss Behave, cabaret sensation Meow Meow and the infamous Ursula Martinez.
“If people miss her and her brand new half-man, half-woman act which brings a whole new meaning to the concept of loving yourself, you will kick yourself,” Finucane said.
Australian novelist Christos Tsiolkas, author of cult gay novel Loaded, helped write the show.
“He’s written a number of pieces that have been evolved into this one three-minute wild, irreverent, dark, dirty and fantastic piece about the garden of Eden,” Finucane said.
“It’s kind of everything you come to expect of Christos brought to life by the divas of dark cabaret.”
Over the years, The Burlesque Hour has been watched by some 70,000 people around the world.
Finucane said the show’s “ever-evolving” nature was the key to its longevity.
She even described it as “the Venus flytrap of cabaret”.
“It’s exotic, unexpected, it’s alluring and once you’re in it, it’s hard to get out,” she said.
“Every year, like glamorous homing pigeons, we come home to Melbourne to create new work, to embrace our beloved Melbourne and yes, to bring on the rain.”
Glory Box runs June 7 – July 1 at Fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne.