Counting Sheep is a Ukrainian folk opera created by Mark and Marichka Marczyk recounting the 2014 outbursts, violence, and sniper fire of Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution witnessed by the Marczyks themselves. A call-to-action and affirmation of the human condition, it invites audiences to be part of the Revolution.
The show travelled the world after its initial production in 2014, winning the Scotsman First Fringe and the Amnesty International awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Counting Sheep was redeveloped in collaboration with Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of the Belarus Free Theatre to deepen the impact of the work while making the production more tourable.
Mark and Marichka Marczyk met and fell in love on Independence Square in Kyiv at the height of the Revolution of Dignity. They have traveled across Ukraine volunteering, performing for soldiers and displaced persons, and writing about their experiences in a number of publications. Marichka is a founding member of the renowned folk choir Bozhychi and fronts the Ukrainian indie-chanson trio Kuku Shanel. She moved to Canada to be with Mark and his balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super-band Lemon Bucket Orkestra.
In 2005, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin founded Belarus Free Theatre, an international award-winning theatre company founded on principles of freedom of speech and artistic expression. Their focus is on social justice, taboo zones and violation of human rights across the globe.
The National Creation Fund’s investment of $150,000 supported a four-week development workshop with the artists of the Belarus Free Theatre to explore how music and video are used to tell the story, shift the staging to support larger audiences, and hone the immersiveness of the experience. The investent was also used to develop a more sustainable model for touring.
Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.
January 23 to March 17, 2019: London (UK), presented by the VAULT Festival
The words “immersive Ukrainian folk opera” don’t normally get my pulse racing, not even if they come with the words “award-winning”...
Immersive gig-theatre show Counting Sheep was a smash hit when it debuted in Edinburgh in 2016, winning both a Fringe First and the Amnesty