S. Shakthidharan’s Counting and Cracking , an epic play encompassing four generations of a Sri Lankan family, has received Australia’s richest literary award, the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, at this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Shared with associate writer Eamon Flack, who also directed the acclaimed production for Belvoir and Co-Curious, the pair also took home the $25,000 Prize for Drama. It marks only the second time a play has received both awards after Leah Purcell’s double win in 2017 for The Drover’s Wife.

S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack. Photograph © Ken Leanfore

Counting and Crackingis a play of great scope and sweep – taking place as it does over several international locations and time periods, folding in a nation’s rawest wounds and crises – that also manages to speak intimately of the ties that bind people within and between cultures. Highly ambitious and wonderfully assured, it is a post-colonial work of sublime generosity and humour; a sober reflection of the painful path our peoples have taken to reach our shores, and a grand and moving celebration of cultural diversity and human spirit.”

Prakash...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now