Imagine that you’ve been told to resemble a distant relative… But, not just any ordinary relative. Your great, great uncle who fought in and sacrificed his life in Gallipoli.
Now, think of digging into the history of his life and ending up intertwined in a frustrating adventure that ends in a satisfying closure-themed play. That’s what Mark Salvestro sought out to do, by constructing a play that not only looks at the historical perspective of a story that involves love, war, and martyrdom, but also allows him to find a newfound appreciation for the Golden Era.
Buried At Sea is a play that was written by Salvestro, as he went through the process of unraveling the roots that made his great, great Uncle George Edward Bradford a significant family member, with respect to his own life. A one-man play, Mark switches between himself as a struggling playwright and his Uncle George and brings to his audience a range of “scenes” that trigger a range of emotions within us. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of music, and a bit of passion, and a bit of sorrow. While the two characters are distinguished beautifully through the use of lighting, music, and speaking repertoire, there are times when the two characters seem so alike that you start questioning who’s who.
It starts becoming apparent that Salvestro thinks like an old man – and that’s such a good thing! He appreciates the music from the 50s-60s era, the classic ideas of dates, the simplistic vision of settling down with a girl and having a family. A majority of the play is based on real-life events that unearthed through his research on his great, great uncle. But, there are parts, such as his love story with his wife (Ruby), where certain elements were fragmented through Mark’s innovative imagination. Nostalgia is at its prime with this play and towards the end, you won’t be able to help yourself from having a tear in your eye. The story is beautifully narrated by Mark’s exquisite orating skills. There’s not much on stage, apart from a soldier’s uniform, a pedestal, and a well-aged portrait of the central character (George Edward Bradford), which is well-illuminated throughout the play.
Debuting as part of Adelaide Fringe for the first time, Mark Salvestro has successfully captured the audience with his fantastic, original spin on the popular theme of Gallipoli. By incorporating his own family influence into it, Mark’s play Buried At Sea aims to provide the audience with 65 minutes of entertainment with a purpose.