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The Will to Be.png

‘Compelling and must-see theatre' - Melbourne Observer.

An award-winning solo show exploring forbidden love in 1960s Australia, laced with the words of Shakespeare.

‘A masterful performance’ - Stage Whispers.

A University Office, 1962: homosexuality is illegal.

Junior lecturer, William O’Halloran,

has been dismissed from his probationary position.

His secret is out.

As he packs up his beloved belongings,

William recalls the defining decisions

that have lead him to this moment.

But time is ticking away.

His wife Lola is due to arrive any minute.

And the curtain is soon to rise

on the student union production of Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers isn’t the only

forbidden love story on campus.

And the leading man knows this all too well…

‘Beautifully crafted…exceptionally performed’ - Weekend Notes.

‘The Will To Be’ is an exploration of Australia’s queer history, societal shame, and a defiant cry to speak truth to power.


Photo by Sare Clarke Photography


Adelaide Theatre Guide -


The Barefoot Review -


- The Advertiser -

*Best Theatre*



Written, Produced and Performed by Mark Salvestro

Sound Design by Steve Carnell

Set Design by Carmody Nicol

Costume Design by Oliver Ross

Photography by Sare Clarke & Darren Gill


“A masterful performance… a fresh glimpse of Australia’s history of homosexuality and its accompanying oppression”

- Stage Whispers -


“Honest, raw and real…Compelling and must-see theatre”

- Melbourne Observer - 


“A spell-binding solo performance… the story telling and acting is exquisite… highly recommended”


- The Barefoot Review -


“Astounding piece of theatre… of timeless relevance… a beautifully inspiring work of one man’s heartbreaking call to arms”

- Australian Arts Review -


“Dazzlingly fresh and alive… a captivating performance… completely enthralling, and devastatingly romantic…”


- Adelaide Theatre Guide -


“A commanding and compelling leading man… an exceptional must-see piece of theatre”

- Theatre Travels

Special thanks to Phil Evans and the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, acting coaches Sarah Hallam, Phoebe Anne Taylor (and Graphic Designer!), Emma Louise Pursey and Danielle Cresp, dramaturgy consultant Mark Pritchard, promo trailer team: William Lee, Scott Pope, Harrison Byrne and Andy Berry-Brown, Co-Producer April Erskine & BCauseARTS, La Mama Theatre, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Sarah Clarke, Lauren Lloyd Williams, Anne and Robbie Salvestro, Tom Brown, James Hanna, The Monaro Post, Cooma Little Theatre, Cooma Visitors Centre, Creative Partnerships Australia and the 90 donors of the Australian Cultural Fund campaign for the 2020 Adelaide Fringe season.

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