Grimmer and Grimmer
Grimmer and Grimmer

Louna @ The Berkeley Suite

Taking grim to a new level
Feature by Gareth K Vile.
Published 01 November 2011

Louna’s decision to hook up with the 85a Collective is a smart move. The Collective have a reputation for cool approaches to visual art and events: Grimm’s tales, performed in the middle of a masquerade ball on Halloween are given an added resonance. This selection, equally physical theatre illustration and old school storytelling, are appropriately brutal and Louna engage an audience that aren’t quite sure whether to demand burlesque or behave like a proper theatre crowd.

Keeping away from the literal extremity of Live Art, Louna are in the interesting place between devised performance and storytelling: sometimes evoking the characters through movement, sometimes relating the narrative directly, they relish Grimm’s bloodthirsty tales of vengeance. The minimal set –  a painted backdrop – puts the weight of entertainment on the duo, and they eventually command the nightclub through the power of their voices.

Although they have been honing this show at the Edinburgh Fringe, placing it on a bill alongside Organ of Love, a rising raucous duo recently signed to Optimo, makes Louna part of a very Glaswegian trend. Overlaps between music, visual art, clubbing and performance are increasingly common – a gallery opening at SWG3 is not complete without a set from Ultimate Thrush, and The One Ensemble recently admitted that their new, acoustic set was inspired by Daniel Padden’s work in theatre. 85a have been bothering boundaries for the past few years, and Louna’s casual confidence makes them ideal partners in crime.

Derrida said there was nothing outside of the text, which can translate into talking about the play and nothing else. However, it’s the experience outside – a room full of masked clubbers, a city full of costumed drunks, a nation given to US style celebrations of Halloween – that informs and energises this production. Louna are taking theatre for a walk off the stage.