Counting and Cracking
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.
‘Shakthidharan’s ear for dialogue is very good: almost every single line feels well-judged, and never ignores the so-human reality of happiness, trauma, and other emotions occurring simultaneously.’
Victorian Prize for Literature
Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, NSW Premier's Literary Awards
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Shakthi is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Kurinji. He’s an western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. He’s a writer, director and producer of film and theatre, as well as a composer and performer of original music.