Launched like a surreal bullet from the depths of acclaimed playwright Mark Thomson’s fantastical imagination, Wondrous Flitting is a bizarre but enthralling production brimming with ideas.
Sam, 24, is suffering from serious existential angst. Marooned in his drab suburban living room without a job or any tangible direction, he sits waiting for something to cure his interminable malaise. Cue much crashing and a series of blasts: as the smoke clears, Sam emerges to find that the holy house of Loreto—where Christ was reputedly conceived—has miraculously "flitted" from its Tuscan home and landed in his living room, crushing his father’s legs and trapping his wretched mother inside. Unperturbed by his parents' fate, Sam decides that this is a joyous turn of events, a miracle that must surely contain the meaning his life has been waiting for. In the ensuing 24 hours, Sam embarks on a darkly comic journey to unearth the significance of the miracle, unfortunately meeting with only limited spiritual enlightenment.
Apparently inspired by a chapter in Ed Hollis’ The Secret Life of Buildings, Wondrous Flitting is a gleefully non-linear and at times indulgently absurd new play from Thomson, Artistic Director at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre. But a lively, down-to-earth script acts as a perfect antidote to the surreal narrative, and the three central performances are funny and strong enough to paper over any obscurities in the story. A strange parable about the contemporary search for faith and supernal meaning, Wondrous Flitting is both imaginative and strangely compelling.