Buried certainly made a splash at the Fringe last year, winning awards left, right, and centre, and deservedly so – Tom Williams and Cordelia O’Driscoll’s new musical is quirky, witty and oozing with black humour. It’s the classic boy-meets-girl story with a twist: when serial killers Rose and Harry meet for their first date, both of them went into it expecting to find their next victim but left having found true love. The Bonnie and Clyde-esque murderous road trip that follows provides ample hilarity but the show’s heart lies in the (potentially worryingly relatable) interactions between Rose and Harry as they let their psychopathic guards down, allow themselves be vulnerable for once and fall in love. Such a profound investigation into the nature of love is what separates Buried from many of the other, somewhat shallower, comedy musicals that populate the Fringe.
Such a profound investigation into the nature of love is what separates Buried from many of the other, somewhat shallower, comedy musicals that populate the Fringe.
Lindsay Mannion and Sebastian Belli are utterly charming as Rose and Harry, perfectly capturing the awkwardness of first dates and the getting-to-know-you stage whilst also delivering some of the blackest of comedy with the lightest of touch. Cool, suave Patrick Bateman types they are definitely not. The small venue and investment in radio mics allows the pair to focus on subtle character development and comic timing rather than having to concern themselves with belting out the songs, a strong decision that adds to the production’s intimate charm. The ensemble do a fantastic job, easily evoking a whole host of characters ready to keep the show from getting overly dark or sentimental with the intermittent comedic interlude.
On the whole, Buried is a welcome addition to the list of great British musicals. In a time when American musical juggernauts like Hamilton and Wicked dominate the West End, it’s refreshing to see something so quiet, contained, and unreliant on flashy gimmicks steal an audience’s heart. Buried left me grinning from ear to ear from start to finish and I’m willing to bet the rest of the audience was as well – may it play forever!