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'The Will To Be' by Mark Salvestro | At The Substation

Price $38 – $42 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

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

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 led 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…

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

Winner of a Best Theatre Weekly Award at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe.

Image by Lisa Hogben Photography

“A masterful performance.” – Stage Whispers

“An absolute must see… an astounding piece of theatre.” – Australian Arts Review

★★★★★ “Completely enthralling, and devastatingly romantic…” – Adelaide Theatre Guide

★★★★½ “A spell-binding solo performance…" - The Barefoot Review

Accessibility: The Substation can only be accessed via a steep flight of stairs. Should you have any concerns about accessing this venue, please contact

Image by Darren Gill

Creative Team

Writer, Performer, Producer: Mark Salvestro

Directors: Sarah Hallam & Phoebe Anne Taylor

Set Designer: Carmody Nicol

Costume Designer: Oliver Ross

Sound Designer: Steve Carnell

Photo credit: Sare Clarke

Image by Darren Gill

About Qtopia Sydney's Pride Fest

Join us for a month of dazzling works and moving stories as we celebrate the astounding talent within our community.

Presented by Qtopia Sydney, Pride Fest covers the entire month of June, bringing audiences limited runs of exciting works from Australian artists.

Involving local and interstate artists, Pride Fest features the best of what our community has to offer. Whatever you're looking for this Pride season, there truly is a little something for everyone. 

Qtopia Sydney's Pride Fest contains cabaret, drag, theatre, and more, encouraging us to come together to celebrate not only LGBTQIA+ stories, but the storytellers themselves. 

Check out the full Pride Fest season here:

Ready to see the full program? Visit:

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Refund policy

Refunds are not generally available. In exceptional circumstances, please contact at least 72 hours prior to the event. No refunds available within 72 hours.