Words by Fatema Sitabkhan
Overall rating: ★★★★½
It has become a recent trend to study your historical roots and explore the family history to better understand ourselves as individuals. After Mark Salvestro undertook a quest to dig into the story of a great, great uncle, he crafted together a poignant play that provides a beautiful balance between themes from George Edward Bradford’s life to the age of 22 and Mark’s present life at the age of 23. Some may think he’s gone insane, others may think he’s a passionate guy who really appreciates and is enthusiastic to re-trace in the footsteps of a man who he bears an uncanny resemblance to.
Switching between the two characters – Mark and George – this one-man show is an excellent way for Mark celebrate the colorful and brave life that George seemingly lived. After conducting countless hours of research, Mark was able to movingly express his thoughts and facts around this courageous man who fought and sacrificed his life in Gallipoli during World War 1.
Modernity meets heritage in 60 minutes in a truly powerful manner. There are moments where Mark and George’s auras almost amalgamate and what results is a man (Mark) who would much prefer to teleport himself away from this technology-dependant and materialistic world and instead focus on appreciating the simple things.
While the play is mostly based on factual matter, the imagination and creativity around the love story between George and his beautiful lover (and wife) Ruby comes from Mark himself, whereby a beautiful affair is portrayed (and basically gives us serious relationship goals)!
Buried At Sea brings together a series of themes – martyrdom, romance, true love, sorrow, grief, and pure nostalgia. Mark uses components of singing, monologue, and minimalist use of props (primarily including a well-illuminated original portrait of George) to tell his story… of his journey of how he was inspired by the story of George and how his appreciation for the yonder years grew to a passionate endeavour.
Mark Salvestro has brought his playwright skills to South Australia for the first time and if anything is to go by his opening night performance, we can be rest assured that his audience will find this play truly eye-opening, sombre, and mentally engulfing.
There are only 2 more shows of Buried At Sea playing at Tandanya Arts Cafe – book your tickets on the Adelaide Fringe website and step back into an era that will make you appreciate history from the personal account of a new and emerging playwright with an impressive set of skills ready to be unleashed in the performing arts industry.
Buried At Sea
Address: Tandanya Arts Cafe, 253 Grenfell St, Adelaide, 5001, SA
Words by Fatema Sitabkhan