By S.Shakthidharan and Associate Writer Eamon FlackDrama Belvoir and Co-Curious
Counting and Cracking
On the banks of the 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 they are free to embrace their lives in Australia. Then a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we are plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children.
Counting and Cracking is a big new play about Australia like none we’ve seen before. This is life on a large canvas, so we are leaving Belvoir St and building a Sri Lankan town hall inside Sydney Town Hall. Sixteen actors play four generations of a family, from Colombo to Pendle Hill, in a story about Australia as a land of refuge, about Sri Lanka’s efforts to remain united, about reconciliation within families, across countries, across generations.
We’ve done some big shows before – Cloudstreet, Angels in America. This is big too, but in a different way: it’s a new kind of Australian story. What makes it magnificent is its grand theatrical sweep, and its vision – deeply moving, compelling – necessary, of why we must never flag in the pursuit of an open society.
Counting and Cracking is a play of great scope and sweep – taking place as it does over several international locations and time periods, folding in a nation’s rawest wounds and crises – that also manages to speak intimately of the ties that bind people within and between cultures. Highly ambitious and wonderfully assured, it is a post-colonial work of sublime generosity and humour; a sober reflection of the painful path our peoples have taken to reach our shores, and a grand and moving celebration of cultural diversity and human spirit.
To view an extract from this play, click here.
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