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FringeReview Scotland 2024

I Hope Your Flowers Bloom

Raymond Wilson

Genre: Biographical Drama, Solo Show

Venue: Tron Theatre


Low Down

Raymond works in a rainforest. In Edinburgh. It’s fantastic. But plastic. From his introduction, he tells us of Flo and his pursuit of her. It is a chase that allows him to, with confidence, escape the flat on the west coast of Scotland which is the jail to his dreams to the exotic east. And so, having met her, managed to escape the west coast he settles into his role as a guide in the jungle were his knowledge of trees helps him to fit right in. Along the way there is an intricate narrative of his childhood and his saviour, a sycamore tree, an evergreen he could see from his family flat window that was cut down, the evocative scent of a Douglas Fir he shares with Flo and a relationship wish, that he does not until, fractured by rejection true salvation comes from  the visit of Glaswegian gallus weans who push him over an edge and into the outside, and he finds a flow with which he can get on board.



From the beginning, until the end this is captivating. It’s the subtleties that mark this out as one of the best explorations of masculinity and its insecurities. The story has many levels which expose anxieties sprung from a man who grew out of a boy that others picked on. Hiding under a sycamore tree became his sanctuary and from the working class flat that kept him from getting into his zone, he develops a very secure fascination – with nature. The use of Latin names is impressive and when he finds Flo and realises that the friendship blossoms, they begin a platonic friendship he hopes, like his beloved plants around him, shall similarly grow. It gives him the confidence to move to Edinburgh. To be closer to her. As the story develops, the layers within it work incredibly well. There is a real sense of vulnerability which is poignantly played by Wilson.

The performance, given that there is a degree of biographical detail, should be good. But it is the imprecise detail and the commanding of the stage which makes this something from which you are unable to take your eyes away. Wilson evokes the images of a man in pursuit of the attainable and the myriad of detail which is delivered with the key elements of emotion and hope are delivered with such skill. The combination of the writing and the delivery match perfectly. It has been directed with a keen understanding of how genuine vulnerability should be portrayed onstage.

Technically the set is a bunch of boxes with nice pics on the side which are functional, lighting catches up and there is little by need of heightening the tension or dimming the expectation. Costume is an adidas trackie which evokes a type and a time. #genius.

The greatest element of this is its lack of drama. That it manages to hold you in its grip whilst dealing with the small things, not making them big things but using them to observe and make the global issue of masculinity one that is able to be understood and one that is able to be accessed is part of its greatest appeal. Wilson has delivered a 21st Century treatise on an element of masculinity, with flowers, and some trees and a man looking for real love. And it’s great.


Show Website

Raymond Wilson