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Queer Shakespeare In The 60s Comes To Melbourne Fringe

Following the success of his debut one-man show, Buried at Sea, Mark Salvestro returns to Melbourne Fringe with The Will To Be, a new solo work, exploring legacy, homosexuality and shame in 1960s Australia.

The Will To Be will have its World Premiere at Melbourne's queer and quirky hub, The Butterfly Club, from September 23-29.

One lonely night in 1962, a young university lecturer weighs up his life. The career of his dreams is no more. His secret is out. Will he choose love or the law? In a time when homosexuality is illegal in Australia, a man of reputation must ask the everlasting question: 'to be or not to be?'

The Will To Be is a mash up of eras and genres: Shakespearean masterpieces and 1960s bangers married with modern day storytelling rooted in honesty and heart.

Since last performing at Melbourne Fringe in 2016, actor and writer, Mark Salvestro, has completed a national tour of his solo work Buried at Sea, co-founded Melbourne theatre collective North of Eight, and performed with Australian Shakespeare Company at the Prague Fringe Festival in 2018.

"I'm really excited to be premiering The Will To Be in Melbourne as it explores a really important time in queer history," Salvestro said. "As a gay man and a theatre-maker, I feel privileged to be able to give voice to a generation of homosexuals and shine a light on how far we've come in terms of LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility. I hope to use the play as a vessel to educate the younger queer community on the hardship, advocacy and sacrifice that came before them, and remind them what they're celebrating when it comes to pride events today."

The Will To Be is presented as part of Fine @ Fringe and sponsored by the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, of which Mark Salvestro is a full-time graduate.

Bookings: or visit | Phone: 03 9660 9666

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