Perfecting a character, especially one who once existed, is no easy feat for a writer. The life of a playwright is about dedication (bordering obsession) to the research, persistence to the pursuit of truth and taking the courage to create. Mark Salvestro’s BURIED AT SEA is a quaint performance capturing these detailed specifics of playwrighting.
Salvestro touchingly honours his great-great uncle who courageously fought and died defending his country’s freedom at Gallipoli during World War I. Salvestro is cheeky and adamant to make clear that he is writing a play with music about the life of his great-great uncle George – but it is NOT a cabaret. Using song and lyrical storytelling, Salvestro highlights the life of not only a brave soldier, but a true family-man who fought in war battles focused to return home to his one true love. Most intriguing about the performance is Salvestro’s ability to draw parallels between his own life and that of his great-great uncle: Salvestro weighs the pros and cons of things like finding true love and overcoming sacrifices. For example, Salvestro compares the simple life of early 1900s when meeting a true love happened by catching the eye of a beautiful lady from across the room to that of his 21st century tools that force him to swipe right or left to meet a pretty face.
The story moves along nicely through the weaving in and out of original and covered songs sung by Salvestro and accompanied on key board by Daniele Buatti. These songs are smartly used throughout this performance to illuminate Salvestro's beautiful tenor voice.
Making his debut at Melbourne Fringe Festival, BURIED AT SEA is a telling performance of a passionate and romantic performer in Mark Salvestro. I am eager to watch this young talent grow as a performer, writer and ultimately a theatre maker because he is unique to honour real lives of real people in actual historical events.
BURIED AT SEA performs as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival through October 1st at 6PM. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Melbourne Fringe Festival website.