Published on February 5th, 2023 | by Tim Chuma

House of the Heart《心之宫殿》Review (2023)

House of the Heart《心之宫殿》Review (2023) Tim Chuma

Summary: Different to the Finucane and Smith shows of the past but also may be better for people wanting a more story-oriented show and not so intimidating.



Dragon Gallery, Chinese Museum, Friday 3rd February 2023

Featuring Moira Finucane, Sophie Koh, Lois Olney & Dave Johnston, Rachel Lewindon, Xiao, Govind Pillai, Zitao Deng, Paul Cordeiro, Shirley Cattunar, Lachlan Bartlett, Jens Radda & Kate Marie Foster 

I first saw Moira Finucane back in 2008 when some people I know where in one of her shows. Over the years I have kept up with what she was doing including making a contribution towards getting the show Glory Box to travel to Cuba but have not been to any of her shows for a few years.

It was always quite an experience going to her shows and very intimidating whether she would have very long fingers or have to put down a plastic sheet over the audience. For this show they made a point in saying it was safe to come close and there was nothing going to be sprayed into the crowd.

As part Chinese New Year celebrations the show is running a season in the Dragon Gallery at the Chinese Museum with a reduced capacity but it also means you are closer to the show. The performers enter via the back of the audience at various points.

The theme of the show revolves around telling the story of home with the performers rotating and Moria is more of the host in this one and does her own parts.

Also included in this show was live music going along with the acts by musical director Rachel Lewindon, cellist Xiao and various singers Sophie Koh, Lois Olney & Dave Johnston, Zitao Deng, Shirley Cattunar, Lachlan Bartlett, Jens Radda & Kate Marie Foster

Dancing in this show was provided by Paul Cordeiro and Govind Pillai. Paul Cordeiro gets to tell some stories and manages to be one of the highlights of the show especially the story he tells just before the interval.

It is a very unique production and different to what I have seen before from this ensemble. Considering one show included a ride on the carousel at Luna Park while the performers where singing that is saying a lot.

There is also some incentive to come back later as there are different performers for some shows. I talked to someone on the next table who was hoping to see Mama Alto in this show (they were doing Follies Girl at Midsumma at this time).

If you really can’t make this run then this show will be touring later in this year but do try to make it as it is a unique venue that is not used that often in this context.

Keeping with the theme it does seem to be a very hug-oriented show especially with some of the older performers. There is some audience interaction towards the end of the show but they don’t really push it. A lot of people in attendance at the performance I went to have been seeing these shows for many years so were up for it.

There is a bar out the front (get your seat first and then go back and get a drink) and lots of restaurants around as these performances are in Chinatown. The bar staff and ushers are part of the show and I did get to talk to them before and after it.

An excellent show and one I hope gets a wider audience as the theme opens it to being more accessible and if you are scared of the more high concept type of shows you will be at home. Also it means once you see the performers you can go see them when they are in other things.

Coming next week:

The Muirs, Mama Alto

Dates & Times:

Thurs 2nd Feb @7.30pm

Fri 3rd Feb @7.30pm

Sat 4th Feb @7.30pm

Sun 5th Feb @6pm

Thu 9 Feb @ 7.30pm

Fri 10th  Feb @7.30pm

Sat 11th Feb @7.30pm

Sun 12th Feb @6pm


Price: $ 88 front row seats/ $68 general

Table seating and bar. Doors open from 7pm Thurs-Sat & 5.30pm Sun


Artist sites:

About the Author

Writer, photographer, artist and music fan from Melbourne, Australia.

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