Thursday, 3 January 2013

Your Lucky Day/Big Bang

Various venues
4 stars
Fortune smiled on New Year’s Day events in Edinburgh this year, from an 
opening quasi-mystical invitational ritual that opened proceedings to 
the epic street theatre invocation of the dawn of time itself that 
closed it. Your Lucky Day was a smorgasbord of thirteen individual 
events that took place in assorted Old Town venues, but which was given 
a sense of cohesion by having the audience roll a dice to see where 
chance took them.

Many of the events were drawn from twenty-first century renderings of 
folk and roots culture, with bite-size turns from Rachel Sermanni at 
the Tron Kirk, Shane Connolly and Alasdair Roberts’ take on eighteenth 
century mummers play, Galoshins, at the Scottish Storytelling Centre 
and country swing from Stretch Dawson and the Mending Hearts at the 
Roxy.

Best of all was a sneak peek of Crows’ Bones, a luminous musical 
collaboration between Lau accordionist Martin Green, nykelharpist 
Niklas Roswall and the haunting voices of Inge Thomson and Becky 
Unthank. Their programme of spectral songs from northern lands was 
given an extra sense of drama by being performed in St Giles Cathedral. 
Commissioned by Opera North, Crows’ Bones is a must for this month’s 
Celtic Connections festival.

Ushering all this in at the National Museum of Scotland was Lady Luck – 
The Cult of Fortuna, a participatory ritual set beneath a huge 
inflatable altar, where temptresses sporting robes that looked lifted 
 from a 1970s feminist science-fiction film invited onlookers to purge 
the old year and embrace the new,

All this faux-paganism in live art duo Walker and Bromwich’s latest 
exploration of public ritual was as quietly subversive as Your Lucky 
Day’s main body of events. As was too Big Bang, the latest street-art 
spectacle by Toulouse-based Plasticiens Volants. Using a set of 
ever-expanding psychedelic inflatables and comic strip projections 
flashing up a set of epochal events, Big Bang rewound history to tell 
the story of the universe as we know it. As evolution went backwards, a 
giant theatre in the sky rolled back the centuries with a sense of 
immersive grandeur.

With roots in hippy and rave culture, this large-scale meditation on 
life, the universe and everything had mass crossover appeal without any 
kind of compromise in artistic integrity. All of which left audiences 
hungry for the possibility of change very lucky indeed.

The Herald, January 3rd 2013

ends

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