In 2013, Eamon Flack was sitting on the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne reading a script by S. Shakthidharan. He had seen a workshop reading at Carriageworks and had been intrigued. Now he was convinced that he was looking at something special.

Counting and Cracking S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack. Photograph © Ken Leanfore

“I still remember where I was, half way through the script, when I realised that this was a kind of unprecedented and remarkable piece of work,” says Flack, the Artistic Director of Belvoir. “After reading scripts at Belvoir for many years, I had finally come across a script that I felt really exploded the boundaries of what stories we should be telling on our stages, and it did it with ambition like I had never seen before, but also with a kind of sophisticated plot that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time.”

“And I was kind of excited by those things and I also recognised something on a personal level which I found very touching – the gap between the past and present, and what might have been.”

The play Flack was reading was Counting and Cracking, by...