What’s this? An Australian epic without bushfires or drought? S. Shakthidharan, a Western Sydney-based playwright devoted to the motherlode of stories that lie beneath our dominant myths, has fused his family’s experiences with those of other Sri Lankans to create this sweeping new Australian play. Produced by the award-winning Belvoir, Counting and Cracking has been many years in the making, with sixteen actors from five countries playing four generations of a family, from Colombo to Pendle Hill.
On the banks of Sydney’s Georges River, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother – their final connection to the past, to Sri Lanka and its struggles. Now free to embrace their lives in Australia, a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we are plunged into a heart-rending story of reconciliation within families, across countries, across generations. It’s a journey that will deepen your understanding of how a country can descend into violence and how a country can be a place of healing and hope; a tension between head-cracking rebellion and head-counting civility.
Part thriller, part love story, part domestic drama and part diaspora saga to rival Exodus, this is theatre on a magisterial scale.
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Belvoir has been one of the country’s leading theatre companies since it was founded in 1984, constantly punching well above its weight and sending killer shows out across Sydney and into the world.
Event additional information
Written by S. Shakthidharan
Directed by Eamon Flack
Cultural Advisor Anandavalli Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson Sound Designer & Composer Stefan Gregory Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
Prakash Belawadi, Nicholas Brown, Jay Emmanuel, Rarriwuy Hick, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Nadie Kammallaweera, Ahi Karunaharan, Monica Kumar, Gandhi MacIntyre, Shiv Palekar, Monroe Reimers, Hazem Shammas, Nipuni Sharada, Vaishnavi Suryaprakash, Rajan Velu, Sukania Venugopal
Band Kanakan Raj Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda
Creative team Cultural Advisor Anandavalli Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson Sound Designer & Composer Stefan Gregory Lighting Designer Damien Cooper Fight Choreographer Nigel Poulton Dialect Coach Linda Nicholls-Gidley Associate Sound Designer Jessica Dunn Associate Artist Suzanne Pereira Assistant Director Carissa Licciardello
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Belvoir.
Supported by Macquarie Group Foundation, Thyne Reid Foundation and Belvoir’s visionary Gamechangers.
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