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AT THE THEATRE

Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well! Live stage shows in Central Scotland, be they Shakespeare or avant-garde.

Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Buried: A New Musical @ Underbelly

This musical black comedy from Sheffield’s Colla Voce Theatre Company features Lindsay Manion as Rose, a young woman who never seems to get beyond the first date with anyone - mainly because she keeps poisoning them! One night, however, she brings home Harry (played by Sebastian Belli) and, while trying to do the same to him, discovers that he’s a fellow serial killer.

The pair of them gradually form a romantic connection based on their shared psychopathy and decide to go out on a road trip, bumping off any hitchhikers whom they encounter on the way. However, when they decide to pick up an adolescent running away from her parents, things between them seem to hit a bit of a… um… hitch. Were they truly made for each other, or is their love affair as doomed as their numerous victims?

This musical show could have so easily been yet another cheaply tasteless affair littering the Fringe venue schedules. Against all odds, however, it’s fantastic fun. There are plenty of laughs here, and while some of the jokes are fairly obvious they are reeled off with such energy that you will find yourself laughing along regardless.

That said, there’s much more on offer here than just a good chuckle. The folkish songs are charming and the singing excellent across the board, with Manion as the standout. The two leads are also great together and feel believable as a couple. Despite their rather morally dubious preoccupations, I actually rooted for their on-stage relationship to win through in the end because the script and performers treated them as genuine human beings rather than mere material for an extended sick joke. While, of course, we can’t expect a true “happily ever after” style ending to their tale, we do get one that’s neatly, sweetly macabre.

There are also four supporting performers here: Rebecca Yau, Alexander Cosgriff, Naimh Finan and Laurence Hunt, who take on a selection of roles throughout. Some of their parts are also quite fun, especially Cosgriff and Hunt’s intermittent spoof sketch of a sensationalist “true crime” style show about psychopaths lurking in society. Cosgriff is hilariously spot-on as the show’s peppy, larger-than-life American host who might conceivably have a touch of the psychopath in himself.

Twisted, clever, funny, great to listen to and even a little bit touching, Buried: A New Musical is one of the best shows I’ve seen so far at this year’s Fringe.

Watch a video:

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Tickets are available from the following link:

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 logo

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