As part of her ongoing post-show Q&A series, on Wednesday 6 February 2019, Mates co-founder Terri Paddock will talk to the revolutionaries and show creators of Counting Sheep at VAULT Festival. Got any questions?
Will you be a protestor or an observer? Join me to stage a revolution at VAULT Festival’s 2019 headline production Counting Sheep, the award-winning immersive Ukrainian folk opera turned Edinburgh Fringe and international sensation, and to hear first-hand from its freedom-fighter creators.
Counting Sheep is a deeply personal retelling of the revolution in Ukraine, where creators Mark and Marichka Marczyk met and fell in love on the barricades of Maidan Square during the 2014 Kiev Uprising.
You are invited to become part of the revolution itself. Lose yourself in the events that changed the course of Ukrainian history forever. Sing, march, protest, dance, eat, help, recoil, fight, laugh, cry. With folk singing, found footage and revolutionary staging this ‘Guerrilla Folk Opera’ is an electrifying exploration of human resilience.
The show was a critically acclaimed sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016, and has since toured the world. This year, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of the Belarus Free Theatre direct this new version, incorporating new English-language monologues telling the story of the Marczyks’ love affair – where the political becomes personal and vice versa.
Counting Sheep is a unique artistic collaboration between Mark and Marichka Marczyk, whose lives changed forever while fighting for freedom and love in Maidan Square, and Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, whose struggles with the repressive dictatorship in Belarus are well documented. This joint theatrical statement from people who went through real life and death situations makes for an explosive stage experience.
Natalia Kaliada, Co-Artistic Director of the Belarus Free Theatre said:
“Given what is happening in the UK with Brexit, especially in these last few months, it is important to remind all of us that, in Ukraine, people were being jailed and killed for their dreams of being part of the European family, just as they did in Belarus, where we protested under European Union flags at great personal risk.
“Counting Sheep gives one-thousand-year-old songs a contemporary twist, intersperses them with incredible storytelling, and puts it all together in a theatrical framework that reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted. Counting Sheep is urgent, essential theatre.”
Mark Marczyk said: “The Revolution was the catalyst that changed the way we see ourselves, our country, our music, our contribution to Ukrainian culture on the global scene. We understood that to be is to be political – every breath we take, every note we sing or don’t sing, every word we speak is one that can have an effect on the balance of war and peace in the world.”
One of this year’s headline productions at this year’s VAULT Festival, Counting Sheep runs from 23 January to 17 March 2019, with performances (90 minutes) nightly at 7pm.