‘The Will To Be’, Award-Winning Solo-Theatre Show, Coming To Qtopia

‘The Will To Be’, Award-Winning Solo-Theatre Show, Coming To Qtopia
Image: Mark Salvestro in 'The Will To Be'. Image credit: Lisa Hogben

This post first appeared on Star Observer.

Detailing a forbidden love in 1960s Australia and supported by the words of William Shakespeare, award-winning solo-theatre show The Will To Be by writer, producer and actor Mark Salvestro will be one of the final shows in Qtopia’s 2024 Pride Fest Program. 

It’s 1962, and William O’Halloran (Salvestro) has just been dismissed from his job as a junior lecturer due to homosexual activity. A potent exploration of queer Australian history that unfortunately remains relevant today, The Will To Be is playing from June 25-29 exclusively at Qtopia. 

In previous seasons of the show in Melbourne and Adelaide, the show has been highly acclaimed, receiving five and four-and-a-half star reviews and the Best Theatre Weekly Award at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Image credit: Darren Gill

Mark said he was thrilled to be performing the acclaimed play in Darlinghurst, one of Sydney’s most diverse queer communities.

“As a gay man and a theatre-maker, I consider it my duty to share the stories of those that came before me, the trailblazers of the queer community, and shine a light on how far we’ve come in terms of LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility,” he said.  

Mark also hopes viewers will be able to draw parallels to today in the story, given the fact that the NSW government just apologised for the legal criminalisation of homosexuality, and the fact that queer people are still being fired for their sexualities

“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,” Mark said. 

“I hope the play will continue to educate Sydney-siders 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.”

The Will To Be

Where? The Substation, Qtopia, 301 Forbes St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
When? June 25-29, 7:30pm
Tickets? $38-42pp, on Humanitix

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