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Counting and Cracking

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The Times – Time Out – Reviews Hub


The Guardian – Financial Times – The Scotsman – The Herald

A vital tale for our times…a touching and gorgeously-staged tale” – The Scotsman

Featuring a world-class cast of 19 performers hailing from six different countries, Counting and Cracking follows the journey of one Sri Lankan-Australian family over four generations, from 1956 to 2004. This epic production is a story of break up and reunion across two nations.

Counting and Cracking is a theatrical event not to be missed – as part of the experience, and included in the ticket price, audience members will enjoy a taste of Sri Lanka during the interval with small food bowls of vegetable curry, roti and rice.

This is rich, heady, memorable stuff” – Financial Times

Winner of 14 major awards including Helpmann Awards for Best Production and Best Direction, Counting and Cracking is written by Sri Lankan Australian S. Shakthidharan and directed by Eamon Flack, Artistic Director of Belvoir, one of Australia’s most celebrated theatre companies.

An absorbing journey” – The Guardian

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.

A beautiful spectacle” – The Herald

The Rep is thrilled to be bringing this multi-award winning play to Birmingham, presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival.

If you see one play this summer, make it this one. You won’t be disappointed, I’m so proud to host this award-winning play in our city, in your theatre.”
Sean Foley, Artistic Director

Presented by

Birmingham 2022 Festival

Writer & Director

Shakthidharan Writer and Associate Director

Eamon Flack Director and Associate Writer

Produced by


Executive Produced by

Sue Donnelly




This production utilises theatrical haze, strobe lighting and loud noise effects (to simulate thunder, rioting and an explosion) and contains on-stage smoking.

Performed in English, Tamil and Sinhalese, with live translation into English.


From £12.50

Digital Programme

View and download your Digital Programme here.

Access Performances

BSL Interpreted performance: Wed 24 Aug, 7.00pm

Relaxed performance: Thu 25 Aug, 7.00pm

Audio described performance: Fri 26 Aug, 7.00pm

Captioned performance: Sat 27 Aug, 1.00pm

Access Pack

You can view and download our access pack here.

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours 30 minutes including 2 intervals.

Act 1 – 1 hour
20 minute interval
Act 2 – 1 hour 5 minutes
20 minute interval
Act 3 – 50 minutes


Fees & Charges

Please note there is a transaction fee of £2.50 on all payment types. Please click here for more information.


Ismet, Mr. Levi and others

Rodney Afif

Jailor, Vinsanda and others

Shanaka Amarasinghe

Apah and others

Prakash Belawadi

Young Dhamayanthi, Swathi and others

Emma Harvie

Older Thirru and others

Antonythasan Jesuthasan

Older Radha

Nadie Kammallaweera

Sunil and others

Ahi Karunaharan

Lily and others

Abbie Lee Lewis

Siddhartha and others

Shiv Palekar

Priest, Hopper Cart Man and others

Gandhi McIntyre

Hasanga and others

Sukhbir Singh Walia

Young Radha

Vaishnavi Suryaprakash

Young Thirru and others

Kaivalya Suvarna

Young Nihinsa

Nipuni Sharada

Fundraiser, Bala, Maithri and others

Rajan Velu

Older Nishinsa, Aacha, Older Dhamayanthi and others

Sukania Venugopal


Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda
Janakan Raj
Venkhatesh Sritharan


Kalieaswari Srinivasan
Harish Vijaya
Biman Wimalaratne


Writer and Associate Director

S. Shakthidharan

Director and Associate Writer

Eamon Flack

Costume and Cultural Advisor


Set and Costume Designer

Dale Ferguson

Lighting Designer

Damien Cooper

Composer and Sound Designer

Stefan Gregory

Fight Director

Tim Dashwood
Nigel Poulton

Voice Coach

Laura Farrell
Amy Hume

Travelling Crew

Head of Lighting and Programmer

Steve Hendy

Head Mechanist

Tom Houghton

Wardrobe Supervisor and Dresser

Chloe Greaves

Producer and Company Manager

Zainab Syed

Executive Producer

Sue Donnelly

Production Manager

Barry Searle

Stage Manager

Georgiane Deal

Assistant Stage Manager

Ayah Tayeh

Associate Sound Designer

Clive Meldrum

Head of Sound and FOH Mixer

Gaya de Mesa

Radio Microphone Technician

Clare Hibberd

Find out about how the vibrant costumes are woven into the very fabric of the show…

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

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.

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