top of page
Counting Sheep_A3_v12.jpg


The Forge, The Vaults
23 January - 17 March 2019

Mark and Marichka Marczyk had their lives changed forever during the tumultuous Kiev Uprising of 2014. Based on their first hand experiences, Counting Sheep invited audiences to immerse themselves in the events that changed the course of Ukrainian history.

This 'Guerrilla Folk Opera' combined storytelling, dance, and interactive theatre, with found footage projected around the stage and live folk music, all as audiences were thrust headfirst into the frontline of a revolution - helping to build barricades, defend the weak, mourn the dead, and fight for truth and love. 

This electrifying examination of human resilience was a unique artistic collaboration with Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, founders of Belarus Free Theatre, whose struggles with the repressive dictatorship in Belarus are well documented. Counting Sheep was a theatrical statement made by those who went through real life and death situations, and chose to share those experiences as intimately as possible. 


★★★★★ The Arts Desk          ★★★★★ The Reviews Hub 

★★★★★ A Younger Theatre  ★★★★★

★★★★ Culture Whisper           ★★★★ The Scotsman

★★★★★ "The show is an exciting, interactive event with many striking visual scenes. At times it resembles a stylised party accompanied by music the company has described as Balkan gypsy, punk.” - British Theatre Guide

★★★★★ "The orchestra play Ukrainian music throughout, passing on the emotional history through song. Counting Sheep is a chaotic, immersive theatre adventure that really gets under your skin.” - Ed FestMag

★★★★★ “A theatrical triumph” / "Everything theatre should be and more - everyone, everywhere should see it” - Broadway Baby

★★★★★ "Counting Sheep is immersive theatre at its finest... ” “be brave and join the revolution, you could just find it a life changing experience”  - Theatre Weekly


★★★★★ “A timely production that tugs the heartstrings of a London who's facing an identity crisis” - Broadway World

★★★★ "A joy – an adrenaline-pumping monument to these events, both political and romantic" Time Out


★★★★ "The immersive piece carries huge heft and power... Heart and genuine emotion that ripples through every scene." WhatsOnStage


★★★★ "Heartfelt" The Times


★★★★ "Propulsive and kinetic" The Stage


★★★★ “Alarming, Joyous and Thought-Provoking” - Toronto Star


"An utterly beguiling mix of traditional folk songs and composed pieces which float across the performance" Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“It is a show full of joy and exuberance just as much as it is about soul and sorrow…

That’s why Counting Sheep is less a polemic against any particular politician than an evocation of human solidarity." - The Guardian

“It takes its audience by the hand and feeds them, in every sense. It whispers and sings to them. Undeniably powerful and affecting" - The Stage 

“As close as one could get to experiencing a revolution without actually putting your life on the line” - Torontoist

Creators: Mark and Marinchka Marczyk
Directors: Nicolai and Natalia Khalezin

Designer: Nicolai Hart-Hansen 
Lighting and Video: Josh Pharo 
Sound: Dan Balfour

Associate Lighting: Sarah Readman 

Movement and Choreography: Bridget Fiske 

Producers: Michael Rubenfeld for Selfconscious Productions, Oliver King for Wild Yak, Hot Feet Productions


General Management: Wild Yak


Presented alongside 



The Forge, The Vaults
25 January - 17 March 2019

Accompanied by mind-blowing visuals, Balaklava Blues transports you into the heart of warn-torn Ukraine with electrifyingly cathartic and impossibly danceable tunes.


Each weekend at Vault Festival, Mark and Marichka Marczyk debuted their astonishing electronic dance album Fly, featuring "a set of contradictions to spark your mind and move your feet". Latitude Festival Review

bottom of page