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.

Co-produced with Co-Curious
Counting and Cracking has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival

Supported by Belvoir’s Gamechangers


Prakash Belawadi
Nicholas Brown
Jay Emmanuel
Rarriwuy Hick
Nadie Kammallaweera
Ahi Karunaharan
Monica Kumar

Gandhi MacIntyre
Shiv Palekar
Monroe Reimers
Hazem Shammas
Nipuni Sharada
Vaishnavi Suryaprakash
Sukania Venugopal


Cultural Advisor Anandavalli
Set & Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Sound Designer & Composer Stefan Gregory
Lighting Designer Damien Cooper

Performance Times

11 January – 2 February 2019
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday 7pm
Thursday & Saturday, 1pm & 7pm
Sunday, 1pm

7pm, 11, 12 & 14 January

Opening Night (invitation only)
7pm, 15 January

Thursday Matinee
1pm, 17, 24, & 31 January


Book a subscription to secure tickets to Counting & Cracking.


Single ticket prices

Regular Weekend Mid-Week Matinee
Full Price (Premium) $94 $99 $84
Full Price (A Res) $84 $89 $74
Senior (Premium) $84 $89 $74
Senior (A Res) $74 $79 $64
Concession† (Premium) $74 $79 $64
Concession† (A Res) $64 $69 $54
Group 10+ (Premium) $74 $79 $64
Group 10+ (A Res) $64 $69 $54
Preview (Premium) $68 $68
Preview (A Res) $58 $58
Student Saver# (A Res) $49 $39

Regular – weeknight performances and Saturday matinee performances.
Weekend – Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances.
Mid-Week Matinee – Thursday 1pm performances.


Presenting Partner



We give our heartfelt thanks to our Producers’ Syndicate of visionary individual’s whose support will make a landmark contribution to Australian theatre.

Visionary Producer
Macquarie Group Foundation

Lead Producer
Sophie & Stephen Allan
Sam Meers & Richard Kuo
Oranges & Sardines Foundation

Major Producer
Max Bonnell
Jane & Andrew Clifford
The Horizon Foundation
Dan & Jackie Philips
John Pickhaver
Mark & Jacqueline Warburton
Shemara Wikramanayake & Ed Gilmartin

Mehrdad & Roya Baghai
Andrew Cameron AM & Cathy Cameron
Sue Donnelly
The Hand Up Foundation
Ruveni Kelleher
Doc Ross Family Foundation

Lisa George
Julian & Lizanne Knights
Lisa O’Brien
Bob & Chris Ernst
Belinda and Steve Rankine
Rob White and Lisa Hamilton

Cast Biographies