Counting and Cracking

Date 8 - 14 August 2022 UK Premiere
Location The Lyceum, 75th Edinburgh International Festival
Date 19 - 27 August 2022
Location Birmingham Rep, Birmingham, UK


Presented by the 75th Edinburgh International Festival and Birmingham 2022 Festival

எண்ணிக்கை, இல்லையேல் கையோங்கு ගණන් නොගන්නේ නම් ගණන් කරන්න

On the banks of a suburban Sydney 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. But a phone call from Colombo brings the past spinning back to life, and we’re plunged into an epic story of love and political strife, of home and exile, of parents and children.

Counting and Cracking is a work of international ensemble theatre. It features a world-class cast of 19 performers hailing from six different countries: Australia; Sri Lanka; India; Malaysia; New Zealand and France. It follows the journey of one Sri Lankan-Australian family over four generations, from 1956 to 2004. In the course of telling this family’s epic story of break up and reunion, the narrative also tells the tale of two countries: Sri Lanka post-independence and Australia as an immigrant nation.

Winner of 14 major awards including Helpmann Awards for Best Production and Best Direction, Counting and Cracking is touring to the UK, presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.


75th Edinburgh International Festival

Part of the UK/Australia Season 2021–22, supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons, the Australian Government including through the International Cultural Diplomacy Arts Fund and the Australian Cultural Fund, the NSW Government and the British Council as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021–22.

Originally co-produced with Co-curious.

Supported through the PLACE programme.

Birmingham 2022 Festival

Presented by Season Patrons, the Australian Government including through its Australian Cultural Fund and International Cultural Diplomacy Art Fund, the NSW Government through Create NSW and the British Council, as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

Originally co produced by Belvoir with Co-Curious, developed with the support of Curious Works.

And co-commissioned by Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival and Belvoir.

The UK tour is supported by Sam Meers AO, David Gonski AC & Dr Orli Wargon OAM, Simon Mordant AO & Catriona Mordant AM. The Executive Producer is Sue Donnelly.

Presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival. Generously supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Creative Credits

  • S. Shakthidharan Write and Associate Director

    Eamon Flack Director and Associate Writer

    Produced by Belvoir

    Executive Produced by Sue Donnelly

    Belvoir: Based in Surry Hills, Sydney, Belvoir is one of Australia’s most distinguished and beloved theatre companies. Since 1984, when a group of 600 likeminded theatre-lovers came together to buy a theatre to save it from becoming an apartment block, Belvoir has been at the forefront of Australian story telling for the stage. Each year the company presents an annual season of shows for this now-iconic corner stage. New work and new stories sit at the centre of Belvoir’s programming, alongside a mix of classics and international writing, and a lasting commitment to Indigenous stories. In short, Belvoir is about modern theatricality, an open society, and faith in humanity.

    Birmingham Rep are the city’s world-class producing theatre. We create inclusive, exciting and exceptional theatre by, with and for Birmingham and the wider world.

  • Cast

    Rodney Afif | Ismet, Mr. Levi and others
    Shanaka Amarasinghe | Jailor, Vinsanda and others
    Prakash Belawadi | Apah and others
    Emma Harvie | Young Dhamayanthi, Swathi and others
    Antonythasan Jesuthasan | Older Thirru and others
    Nadie Kammallaweera | Older Radha
    Ahi Karunaharan | Sunil and others
    Abbie Lee Lewis | Lily and others
    Shiv Palekar | Siddhartha and others
    Gandhi McIntyre | Priest, Hopper Cart Man and others
    Sukhbir Singh | Walia Hasanga and others
    Vaishnavi Suryaprakash | Young Radha
    Kaivalya Suvarna | Young Thirru and others
    Nipuni Sharada | Young Nihinsa
    Rajan Velu | Fundraiser, Bala, Maithri and others
    Sukania Venugopal | Older Nishinsa, Aacha, Older Dhamayanthi and others
    Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda | Musician
    Janakan Raj | Musician
    Venkhatesh Sritharan | Musician
    Kalieaswari Srinivasan | Understudy
    Harish Vijaya | Understudy
    Biman Wimalaratne | Understudy