A University Office, 1962: Homosexuality is illegal. A lecturer is dismissed. His secret is out. Will he choose legacy or the law?

Award-winning solo show, ‘The Will To Be’, returns to the Melbourne stage this April to mark the 40th anniversary since homosexuality was decriminalised in Victoria.

Playing at La Mama Courthouse as part of the Midsumma Festival from April 19 to 23, ‘The Will To Be’ explores homosexuality, society and shame in 1960s Australia, and is laced with the words of Shakespeare.

Writer, co-producer and actor, Mark Salvestro, is looking forward toreturning to Melbourne since relocating to rural NSW due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to Melbourne to remount ‘The Will To Be’,” Salvestro said. “I can’t wait to reconnect with Melbourne’s rich arts and queer communities, especially because the dates coincide with both Shakespeare’s birthday and the 40th anniversary since the law decriminalising homosexuality in Victoria came into effect in 1981.”

‘The Will To Be’ was awarded a Best Theatre Weekly Award at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe, receiving five and four-and-a-half star reviews. Since its premiere at the 2019 Melbourne Fringe, the one-man show has been hailed as “a masterful performance” (Stage Whispers) and “compelling and mustsee theatre” (Melbourne Observer).

“As a gay man and a theatre-maker, I consider it my duty to give voice to a generation of repressed homosexuals and shine a light on how far we’ve come in terms of LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility,” Salvestro added.

“While we still have a long way to go, I’m a big believer that the act of storytelling leads to empathy, which leads to a better, more inclusive society.

I hope the play will continue to educate Melburnians on the hardship, advocacy and sacrifice that its queer community has endured, and remind them what’s being celebrated when it comes to pride events today.”

Prior to creating ‘The Will To Be’, Mark Salvestro completed a national tour of his debut solo work, ‘Buried at Sea’. He is also co-founder of Melbourne theatre collective, North of Eight, and performed in 2018 with Australian Shakespeare Company at the Prague Fringe Festival.

April 19 – 23

BOOKINGS 03 9347 6948 or www.lamama.com.au