Counting and Cracking was part of our 2019 Sydney Festival Collection

‘In Tamil we don’t say goodbye. Only, I will go and come back.’
‘நாங்கள் விடைபெறேக்க, ‘போயிட்டு வாறன்’ எண்டு மட்டும் தான் தமிழில சொல்லுறனாங்கள்.’

S. Shakthidharan’s extraordinary multilingual play Counting and Cracking traverses countries and decades to bring us an epic tale of family, love and politics.
On the banks of a river in Sydney, Radha and her son Siddhartha release the ashes of Radha’s mother so she can be at peace with her ancestors. Into the water go the particles of one life, but unknown to Siddharta, Radha still holds onto the ashes of her beloved grandfather, brought with her when she left Sri Lanka 21 years before. And so begins a story that spirals out across Australia and Sri Lanka, taking in four generations of a family and their connection to a country that continues to give them equal measures of sorrow and joy.
It is an exhilarating, moving and necessary tribute to people of all backgrounds who are forced to live in exile and build a new home from the heart up.
‘A story of survival and hope, of human connectedness, and our deep desire to understand three things – our history, our identity and what "home" means to us.’ — Community response.

‘මෙය, නොනැසී පැවතීම සහ බලාපොරොත්තුවේත්, මානව සබැඳියාවේත්, අපේ ඉතිහාසය කුමක්ද, අපේ අනන්යතාව කුමක්ද, ‘මගේ රට’ යනු කුමක්ද යන කාරණා ත්රිත්වය තේරුම්ගැනීමට අප තුළ ඇති දැවෙන උවමනාවේත් කතන්දරයයි’ — ශ්රී ලාංකික ප්රජාවේ සාමාජිකයෙකුගේ ප්රතිචාරයක්

To read some responses to the first production of Counting and Cracking from members of the Sri Lankan community, visit the Kurinji website here.

  • drama
  • 0
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  • culturally and linguistically diverse
  • 18+
  • teen, young adult, adult
  • Currency Press




"In this episode we speak with S. Shakthidharan, a writer, director, musician and producer of film and theatre who grew up in Western Sydney and has Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry."

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