Awards: Scotsman Fringe First, Amnesty International Freedom of Expression, Dora Mavor Moore Awards (two), The Summerhall Top Prize, Dark Chat Special Award, Total Theatre (shortlist), Carol Tambor Best of Fringe (shortlist), TVBomb Groundbreaker (shortlist)
Counting Sheep is a deeply personal retelling of the Maidan revolution in Ukraine -- an immersive Ukrainian folk-opera set to the sounds of Canada's beloved guerilla-folk party-punk band, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.
In January 2014, Mark Marczyk touched down in Kyiv and was quickly thrust into a nation on the eve of revolution -- a volatile, whirlwind of tragedy, mixed with hope and solidarity, torn apart by brutal violence.
Counting Sheep is a striking, visceral exploration into the politics of revolution, beating with the heart of a people yearning for a better tomorrow. A call-to-action and affirmation of the human condition, Counting Sheep invites audiences to be part of the Revolution.
The 12-member cast envelops audiences members in this historic time period, as they perform moments of revolution amongst three large screens projecting real-life news coverage and found-footage of the revolution that began in 2013.
Counting Sheep is performed using gorgeous Ukrainian polyphony choral music, and although not in English, the exuberant musical performances and vibrant visuals offer a clear view into the lived experiences of those who were involved in the Maidan, and, to an extent, any modern day political revolution. Anticipation, excitement, fear, loss, anger and the will to keep fighting -- audience members are by the Revolutionaryies' side, riding the wave of each emotion.
Counting Sheep is created by Lemon Bucket Orkestra leader, Mark Marczyk and his wife, Marichka Marczyk, and is inspired by their own experiences in the Maidan.
It was first workshopped at the St. Vladimir Institute in February 2015 followed by a development period a sold-out run at the SummerWorks Performance Festival in August, 2015. It then received a second sold-out in May/June, 2016, in Toronto and was the sold-out smash success of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.