4.5⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2017 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Buried: A New Musical’ by Colla Voce Theatre.

4 Stars

Going to see an original musical at the Edinburgh Fringe is always a bit of a coin-toss. As a genre and an art-form, it’s a difficult thing to get right. In this instance, it comes down firmly on the side of fantastic. One thing that often makes a new musical work is a unique and original concept to build around. Buried certainly has that; and utilises it brilliantly.

Droll, sweet, and deliciously dark, Buried tells a tale as old as time of the love between two serial killers, brought together by chance, and the enchanting and endearing story that follows. The 5-piece (if I remember rightly) band provide a delightful score that sometimes, if unfortunately not always, lingers in the mind and surfaces repeatedly for a while after.

Lindsay Manion portrays Rose, perhaps the most adorable serial killer on record, and Sebastian Belli is provides the perfect match to her dry wit with the awkward charm he brings to his own character, Harry. Together the two are able to create a couple you immediately find yourself rooting for, even when they do form a murderous partnership and start offing hitchhikers.

The production is unfalteringly high in it’s energy; the  supporting cast zip around the leads; assuming multiple characters and shifting the set, and have the time of their lives doing so. The result is that the scene changes are incorporated into the movement of the scenes and songs, never once feeling clunky or awkward to watch. I fully accepted those four chairs as a car, a living room, a prison or whatever else they wanted me to believe they were.

Manion and Belli are both impressive vocalists, Belli particularly so, and are given some delightful musical material to work with that allows them to show off their chops as well as they deserve. While some of songs unfortunately may fall a little short of potential, there are enough great ones to mean this show certainly delivers on the music aspect of being a musical.

The one thing that let’s this show down is the constraints created by the 1hr time slot. The pacing, which is pretty on point for the first half, gets a bit shakier as the show approaches the end and has to rush towards a resolution. If this show were afforded the longer run time it deserves, I’m sure it could address this issue with little difficulty. I did find myself slightly disappointed by the ending which seemed to me slightly at odds with certain character arcs and could have been more satisfying. Nethertheless, I left the show feeling very impressed and would recommend it without hesitation to anyone and everyone I meet.

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