Of all the stage productions that took place in 2022, the one I heard the most buzz about within my social circles was The Jungle and the Sea.
Created by the team behind Helpmann award-winning play Counting and Cracking, this production was written in honour of those who survived Sri Lanka's civil war that took place between 1983 and 2009.
Now, co-writer and co-director S Shakthidharan, Belvoir’s artistic director Eamon Flack and the rest of the team have another reason to celebrate weeks after the continuous standing ovations during their play's run at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre.
The Jungle and the Sea has scored five nominations for the Sydney Theatre Awards, acknowledging the stellar performances of the cast and creative efforts of the crew and production team.
The categories in which the play is nominated are Best Mainstage Production, Best Direction of a Mainstage Production (S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack), Best Original Score of a Mainstage Production (Arjunan Puveendran), Best New Australian Work (S. Shakthidharan and Eamon Flack) and Best Ensemble.
"Counting and Crackingwas written in honour of those who tried to halt Sri Lanka’s descent into civil war," S. Shakthidharan says on the official Belvoir St Theatre website. "The Jungle and the Sea is written in honour of those who survived the war, and the ways they found to uphold their dignity even when everything else was falling down around them."
A huge congrats to the team on this achievement, especially in an arts and entertainment landscape that still often struggles to not only represent diverse communities, but acknowledge their talents when they take to the stage or screen.
The Sydney Theatre Awards will take place Monday January 23, 2023 at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre.