Created by internationally acclaimed and multi-awarded immersive cabaret legends Finucane Smith House of the Heart stars a cornucopia of stunning singers, dancers and storytellers in a work that swirls across language and culture to explore home, family and how we create a sense of place, and heart-felt belonging, in this country we all call home.

Image captions: whole crew of House of the Heart.

Two week of House of the Heart was complete MAGIC, see some reviews of the amazing show:

What Did She Think


House of the Heart has a tempo which is a bit different to what you may have come to expect from Finucane & Smith. It is a gathering of people, a gathering of stories, a gathering of intimacy, sharing, and love.”

“The show is just about looking at the ways and whys of how the Chinese diaspora find themselves living on these shores and some of the experiences they have had. At the same time, we are asked to look inside our own houses and think about what makes the heart of our homes.”

“Finucane lets us in to see the true heights of her acting talents and writing brilliance in a little piece called 'The Swift'.”

“Hearing Zi Tao's painful cry 'Taipei is not my home' over and over, resonating between the walls, the floors, the audience, and the dragons, is one of the most powerful moments of the evening.”

“There is deep sadness in House of the Heart, but there is also great freedom and love and hope which is embodied in Raksha Parsnani's explosive belly dance.”

“The intimacy of the space ensures we all feel enveloped in a warm dragon hug and ensures our sense of communal sharing and caring.”


Arts Hub
“House of the Heart feels like a warm embrace – a cabaret show full of heart, in a house steeped in story.”

“It’s an impressive backdrop, and the story of place and the significance of the artefacts that surround us bring an air of ceremony to what is, in fact, a multicultural celebration of Lunar New Year as cabaret.”

“Indie singer Sophie Koh is back… She’s vibrant and a delight – and she effortlessly moves from cabaret songstress to supporting role on the guzheng or melodica, as part of other acts.”

“Ngarluma jazz singer Lois Mary Olney, performs with guitarist Dave Johnson. Her rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ is achingly good – her voice, as with all great jazz singers, seemingly connected directly to her soul. There is pain there, life and grit and joy, and it’s deeply moving.”

“Emerging artist Zi Tao Deng- a display of raw talent and youthful passion that will only develop and become honed with experience. His final line in the song ‘I am who I am’ demands we take notice – and, really, it’s hard not to. Tao will be one to watch, certainly – a diva-in-the-making.”

“Rachel Lewindon who – as composer and musical director for this show, and long-time collaborator with Finucane & Smith – is just so impressive... It’s clear she is a singular talent.”   

“Finucane’s performance – an expert storyteller in command of her body, voice and the audience.”


Weekend Notes

“Beautifully weaving Chinese and Australian language, culture and history, House of the Heart is a melting pot of talented and acclaimed artists and storytellers, each sharing and celebrating their individual journeys of leaving home, creating a home and going home…” 

“Draped in velvet, with table seating and drinks at the bar, House of the Heart is a vibrant and uplifting show that delivers a heart-swelling, emotional experience of learning, reflecting and connecting to our own homes and each other as we explore what it means to belong in this country we all call home…”

“It was the surprise guest performance from 88 year old songbird Shirley Cattunar that brought tears to my eyes in the end.” 

“A truly special (entertaining and educational) performance you don't want to miss.” 


Stage Whispers

“…an exceptionally talented and diverse group of performers gather the audience’s hearts and minds and alternatively challenge and beguile them with an exploration of the notion of the House of the Heart.”

“Heartbreaking stories of loss and resilient achievement are presented to remind the audience that we all need a home, a sense of belonging and a community.”

“Moira Finucane who is a consummate storyteller movingly performs the story of a small bird which lies broken outside a church, and from her time in Antarctica observing Emperor Penguins, she celebrates each mating pair’s commitment to their eggs.”

“Paul Cordeiro invites the audience into his family’s immigration story and incidentally shares how to make a curry with focus, humour and evocative dance movement.”

“Indigenous Ngarluma Jazz blues singer, Lois Olney accompanied by Dave Johnston tells and sings the stories of deaths in custody, the Stolen Generation and loss of Culture with quiet assurance and grace.”

“Sophie Koh’s singing wraps the audience in her glow”

 “Zi Tao Deng sings with passion about their personal journey to be at home with themself.”

“Raksha Parsnani performs a stunning belly dance which is full of passion and delight.”

“As well as providing incidental cello music, Xiao Xiao premiered an accomplished cello solo she composed.”

“Audience engagement is taken to a new level when Moira invites the audience to share the contents of their House of the Heart with heart-warming results.”

“The performers were supported with profoundly sensitive piano and incidental Theremin (Rachel Lewindon) and Guzheng - Chinese Zither (Sophie Koh). Sound and lighting design (Emily Mangan) were crafted to support the performers.”

“The costumes bring added glamour as do the singing ushers, Jens Radda, Lachlan Bartlett and Kate Foster.”

“An entrancing cabaret of stories which stir the heart and joyously embrace life to affirm our connections and humanity.”




“It is a very unique production and different to what I have seen before from this ensemble.”

“An excellent show and one I hope gets a wider audience as the theme opens it to being more accessible”



Australian Stage

“House of the Heart rings deeper, more personal, as it's full of song and text-based expressions that truly do come from the heart and memories of all performers.”

“All are exceptionally skilled and generous in their offerings. The entire show (two one-hour acts) weaves together with resilience and optimism, despite some heavy and harrowing stories.”

“The artists are from Asian, multi-racial and First Nations backgrounds. Location and cast, not to mention the timing with Chinese New Year, makes House of the Heart more than a lucky dip of acts. It's a carefully crafted affair.”

“Highlights include cello by Xiao Xiao, gut-punching songs by rising-star Chinese-classical-turned-pop-singer, Zi Tao, and an especially moving number from Dave Johnston (also Olney’s accompanist,) that is inspired by his work with incarcerated youth.”

“Finucane & Smith have incredible contacts across genres and artists and have the knack for making every show an event not to be missed. And this is where House of the Heart really excels, as Finucane, front of house, and Smith, directing from off stage, create an environment conducive for intimacy, that still feels brassy, fun and out of the ordinary.”

“With Shirley Cattunar, 88 years young, doing an encore of Stand By Me and bringing the house down, House of the Heart, like all Finucane & Smith works, champions and respects artists of all ages and backgrounds. A lot of things in this world are described as inclusive, but, in this case, that adjective is especially apt.”

Image captions: Sophie Koh is singing Gan Lan Shu 橄榄树