Director: Mark Marczyk
Reviewer: David Doyle
Counting Sheep is a show like no other. It’s a guerrilla folk opera exploring the Euromaidan, a series of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which led to the deaths of over 780, and set the scene for the annexation of Crimea, as well as the conflict in Lugansk and Donetsk. A powerful, immersive experience, the show is quite unlike anything else on offer at Edinburgh this August.
Offering a series of vignettes of elements of the protests, the piece begins as a gathering for a meal that quickly descends into the violence that beset the protests. A truly immersive experience, the show manages to capture the feelings of those caught up in the protests by transporting the audience through projection, music, and live performance to Independence Square in Kyiv.
The immersive nature of the piece is its strength. Rarely does immersive theatre truly relocate an audience as successfully as this piece manages to, it’s impossible not to get caught up in what’s unfolding around you. With two types of tickets available, those watching from the balcony above have an entirely different experience to those on the ground. With its power lying in the immersive nature of it, it really is worth shelling out the few extra pounds for an immersive ticket to get the full experience.
Counting Sheep for its uniqueness alone deserves to be seen. It pushes the boundaries of theatrical form, and while it does, at times, force certain emotions upon its audience, there is something truly captivating about the piece. A worthy collaboration between Mark and Marichka Marczyk and the Canadian band, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the show has succeeded in its creation of a distinctive theatrical experience.
Runs until 29August 2016(not 22)