Freelancer and aspiring journalist from Adelaide. Visual Arts graduate & current journalism student. Fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, art & food. I also write for The Adelaidian // theadelaidian.net/author/georgina-tselekidis
Delving into the past can unravel infinite depths
Marcus Garvey once said 'A people without the past is like a tree without roots'. I never thought much of quotes like this, but after watching Buried at Sea, I pondered this notion for quite some time.
Mark Salvestro is the protagonist, writer and only actor of the show, taking his audience on an intimate journey back in time and through the present moment. As soon as he steps onto the stage, we enter Salvestro's world, where he attempts to discover the life of his great great uncle George, who fought and died at Gallipoli. However, before Salvestro appears we're already immersed in a mysterious realm that in many ways resembles a hidden or 'buried' psych, with a portrait of George standing before us and an antique coat hanger stand holding up George's military coat and hat.
We are reaffirmed of this otherworldly quality as Mark begins to unravel the events of his late Uncle's life, but along the way finds himself almost infatuated with the story, forgetting about who he is and what he needs as the story progresses. With this, he tries to bury his own problems, or bury the memory of his great-great uncle even though he cannot seem to let go. As time passes on, we learn that Mark is writing a play about George's life, which of course resembles his creation of Buried at Sea. This one man show will move you in many unexpected ways. I went in not really knowing what to expect and was astounded by the immense amount of emotion infiltrated by Salvestro. It was as though the audience was a part of these fleeting memories and Mark's tug-of-war psych that travelled between two very different eras. Perhaps it's because I can relate. Mark is a young man struggling to fit into this contemporary world rattled by social media and the pressure to be a certain way, whilst also attempting to build relationships in an age where dating isn't the same as it was in the early 1990s.
George, represents this vintage era where simplicity was a beautiful thing. He falls in love with a lady named Ruby and it is love at first sight. He sets off to defend his country in Gallipoli, but sadly doesn't make it out alive. Whereas Mark yearns to belong to a different time, as he struggles to understand his place in this new world. However, the nostalgic journey also comes with a price, as Mark travels far into the depths of his imagination and begins to lose sight of his present.
In a riveting mix of music, song, interweaving letters, diary entries and personal experience, we are moved by Mark's performance that was a hit at the Brisbane Anywhere Festival and Melbourne Fringe in 2016. Mark Salvestro conveys an incredible energy that is undefinable, not once losing sight of his role on stage and romanticising the crowd until the very end as he exits. Heartfelt and gripping moments are enhanced by the music, directed by Daniele Buatti, as well as effective lighting cues and sound design by Steve Carnell that make the simple space a vessel of thought, memory, nostalgia, and place. It is a place that is timeless, signalling that imagination and memory have no bounds and each individual holds their own interpretation according to their own experiences. Lastly, Buried at Sea is a commemoration of our late Anzac's and to those who yearn to connect to their past and ancestry in a modern era that seems to have lost touch with what's truly important. Buried at Sea will be playing until March 19 at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Visit Buried at Sea to purchase tickets and for further information regarding the performance.