Asking your audience to sympathise and even identify with serial killers is generally considered a bold move, but perhaps less so during the Fringe, when the streets are thronged and the potential for sociopathic thoughts is high. The murderous protagonists of Buried are humanised by their status as lonely outsiders who help each other realise a previously unacknowledged desire for companionship. As their relationship solidifies and they become something approaching a conventional couple, the pair struggle to put down the trappings of their lonely past.
Buried is a comedy in essence, but one in which edgy capers give way to oddly moving moments of clarity. Its characters are overtly dysfunctional, but are nonetheless shown navigating a dispiriting dating scene in a highly relatable manner.
More notable than their dark subject matter is the traditional folk instrumentation to which Tom Williams and Cordelia O'Driscoll's words have been set. It's quite a feat for musicals to steer entirely clear of campy melodrama, and Sheffield's Colla Voce team show immense promise having produced a work of haunting understatement for their Fringe debut. Each performer and musician shines in their own right, but always comes across as part of a cohesive unit, fully sympathetic to the piece's overall aims. It's hard to envisage the work having much of a life beyond the Fringe, but audiences are advised to take in this minor hit, if only to anticipate the greatness to come.