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Unburied review at Vaults, London – ‘fantastically creepy and intelligently crafted’

Carrie Marx in Unburied at Vault Festival, London Carrie Marx in Unburied at Vault Festival, London

Hermetic Arts’ new show Unburied wrongfoots you from the off. It presents itself as a podcast recording. Last night, show host Carrie Marx recorded episode one. Tonight you’re the live audience for episode two. Hang on a minute, you think, this isn’t what I signed up for.

But, as Unburied progresses, it slowly dawns on you that it is a theatre show, one ingeniously structured around Carrie and her podcast, one that delves into folklore and fantasy with glee, one that has found an entirely new way of telling a story, and one that is utterly, compulsively gripping. Bring a change of underwear, because theatre doesn’t get much scarier than this.

Occasionally making apparently innocent asides, Marx sits on stage with a microphone, a laptop, and a projector, and slowly goes through her investigation into the 1978 HTV series Unburied. Unaired at the time, and now missing, Unburied was written by a folk horror academic who died shortly after it was shot.

Through archives, interviews and internet forums, Marx pieces together a genuinely chilling, brilliantly metatheatrical tale encompassing penny dreadfuls, psychic seances, stressed scriptwriters, and a story that’s fatal to whoever attempts to tell it. It’s Serial crossed with Creepypasta. The S-Town podcast via The Ring.

To say too much about Unburied would be to spoil it. Suffice to say I don’t think I’ve seen a more intelligently crafted show this festival. Actually, scratch that – I don’t think I’ve seen a more intelligently crafted show this year.

Father of Lies review at Vaults, London – ‘compulsively gripping’

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A fiendishly clever, fantastically creepy show from horror specialists Hermetic Arts