In this new production by Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre, Sam’s world is literally torn asunder when the Holy House of Loreto appears to have flitted straight through the wall of the house he shares with his parents. And although his mother is trapped and his dad’s legs are sticking out from underneath the ancient-looking bricks, Sam seems to be more concerned with the fact the TV’s stopped working.
Mark Thomson’s Wondrous Flitting starts off with a bang, and initially looks as though it will play out as a contemporary Scottish comedy. After the initial scene however, the piece takes a different path: although still darkly comic, it follows a more existential direction, as Sam leaves his house in search of the miracles he is now convinced must be out there amongst the mundane and everyday.
By choosing this route, Wondrous Flitting never quite manages to live up to the promise of its opening, as Sam proceeds to discover the harsh realities of life amidst the disaffected hopelessness of the inhabitants of the unnamed city he lives in. And although this is brilliantly observed and played by Grant O’Rourke, Liam Brennan and Molly Innes, the piece itself seems to have a crisis of identity, never quite knowing whether to emphasise the comedy aspects of the bleakness of the series of situations Sam finds himself in.
As a new piece of Scottish theatre, Wondrous Flitting is accomplished and polished; with excellent performances and effective staging and design. However, it feels like its true potential still lies underneath the Holy House of Loreto, waiting to be discovered.
Wondrous Flitting plays from 10-28 Aug (not Mondays) at the Traverse. More details here.